Liberal Democrats Put Forward Law To Reduce Women Prisoner Numbers

March 4, 2020 7:33 PM
By Kate Smith

Foston Hall (Nottingham Post)

Foston Hall Womens Prison

On 3 March 2020, Lib Dem MP Daisy Cooper put forward legislation which would ensure female offenders are given community sentences, unless they have committed a serious or violent offence which makes them a real threat to the public.

Women make up less than 5 % of the prison population, but they are more likely than male prisoners to be serving short sentences for non-violent offences. Most experienced childhood abuse, and many are domestic abuse victims. Many are single mothers of dependent children. They take up a disproportionate amount of Police, probation service, prison and other resource, still not making them any more unlikely to commit more crime.

Says Derbyshire Police and Crime Commissioner Candidate Cllr Kate Smith, "I'm proud that this very good proposal is coming from a fellow Woman Lib Dem. So many women offenders have poor mental health, drug and related problems, or are regularly in fear for their and their children's lives from an abusive ex-partner.

"Of course a woman guilty of murder should be in prison, but it makes sense to minimise women prisoner numbers in every way possible. Jenny (not her real name) has a son aged 12 and a daughter of 8 who watched several TV documentaries online. She ended up in prison for not paying for a TV licence. Earlier dialogue should have kept Jenny out of prison and ensured there was no need for fostering/care professionals and other expensive public services to get involved - a community sentence would have made so much more sense and kept the family together".

For more information contact Kate Smith at katesmithlibdem@gmail.com . Daisy Cooper MP is also available, contact Kate in first instance.