What will ‘Count’ and be Transformed for Women in the Criminal Justice System?

Published 11/12/2013
Type Article
Author(s) Rebecca Gomm
Corresponding Authors Rebecca Gomm, PhD Researcher, School of Applied Social Sciences, Durham University.

We know that most women in the Criminal Justice System have a range of essential
support needs. They have experienced, or are currently experiencing traumatic events,
are living through abusive relationships, self-medicating and coping through drug misuse
and have a lack of social support. In addition to difficulties with managing and providing
for their dependent children, they have been described as presenting “particular
challenges” in the recent Justice Select Committee Report (MoJ, 2013). The real challenge
is to accept that success is a complex and layered process, especially within the context of
chronic stress and trauma. Measures of offending and other quantitative target measures
are simply not sufficient to account for positive change and the level of support
required. The impact of good quality service provision on women with complex and
diverse needs must be considered within a more sophisticated framework and
commissioners from Prime providers and the MoJ should be held accountable for ensuring