Policy and Practice for Young Adult Women in the Criminal Justice System

Published 23/01/2019
Type Article
Author(s) Rona Epstein
Corresponding Authors

Women offenders are a minority group within the criminal justice system, accounting for 15% of the current probation caseload and 5% of the prison population. Women offenders differ significantly from their male counterparts and often exhibit more complex needs. Many women offenders have a background of abuse, frequently report having been victims of domestic violence and have had first-hand experience of the care system (Minson et al., 2015). This article reports on research conducted by the Transition to Adulthood Alliance (T2A) on young adult women in custody (Allen, 2016). The research found that the needs of young adult women in custody have not been fully analysed. Unlike young adult men, there are no specific establishments for them. There has been a focus on improving the system for young men, but little attention devoted to the needs of young adult female offenders, although it is acknowledged that female offenders might have different needs and risks. The T2A report analyses what reforms may be needed and also reports on existing good practice.