Lancashire receives Ministry of Justice funding

Almost 50% of women released from prison reoffend within a year.
Almost 50% of women released from prison reoffend within a year.

Women in Lancashire deemed at risk of reoffending are being provided with a new support scheme by the Ministry of Justice, who have invested almost £1 million into six UK regions to offer more comprehensive care.

With almost 50% of women released from prison reoffending within a year, Justice Minister, Dr Phillip Lee, announced a cash-boost in excess of £800,000 for vulnerable women at risk of committing further crime, which costs the taxpayer £15 billion a year.

The scheme, revealed on March 28th, aims to offer them the benefits of tailored, targeted support to break the cycle of reoffending and turn their lives around for good.

Dr Phillip Lee said: "I am delighted to announce this investment in support for female offenders, which will help local areas to support vulnerable women and get them out of the cycle of crime.

"Many women who are at risk of offending or reoffending have a range of complex circumstances," he added. "Our funding will help local areas provide the support women need to lead crime free lives, helping to reduce reoffending, cut crime and make our streets safer."

Six regions across the country were revealed as successful bidders for the programme - Lancashire, Shropshire, Norfolk, Sussex, Surrey, and Devon - and will increase the support on offer to female offenders both behind bars and in the community.

The money will be used to provide a more joined-up and tailored support for local women, bringing together local agencies and services to provide wrap-around care and support to women to turn their backs on crime for good.

Some areas will also use the money to help generate better working relationships with counterparts in the NHS, courts, and police; one area which has already benefited and developed a successful early-intervention plot is identifying female offenders as soon as they come into contact with the police.

Many offenders suffer from a range of complex issues - including substance misuse, mental health problems, and domestic violence - and require specialist support and intervention.

"I am absolutely committed to improving support for women as part of our wider reforms and we will set out our strategy to improve outcomes for female offenders later in the year," added Dr Phillip Lee.

Today’s announcement builds on the wholesale changes taking place across the criminal justice system following on from the publication of the Prison Safety and Reform White Paper in November last year, including giving governors more powers over education, work, and health.