Women and Criminal Justice: Where are we Now?

Published 23/01/2019
Type Article
Author(s) Jean Hine
Corresponding Authors

This paper recognises that interest and concerns about the plight of women involved in offending and the criminal justice system are not new but attention to this issue has increased internationally in recent years. This article offers a brief review of this international work historically and recently before focussing on the current position in England and Wales. The latest statistics are presented to show how the position of women and prison has changed little since the seminal Corston report of 2007 and then offers a critique of the 2018 Female Offender Strategy for England and Wales. It acknowledges that while the strategy picks up many of the themes and recommendations of Corston, the report itself is barely mentioned in the strategy and although the strategy offers much in ambition there is little in terms of immediate practical impact on the ground. While England and Wales can learn from some of the work in the rest of the UK and other countries, many of the limitations of the England and Wales strategy are also applicable to other jurisdictions.