Lib Dems to put forward legislation on alternatives to prison for women

Today, Liberal Democrat MP Daisy Cooper will put forward legislation that would ensure female prisoners are given community sentences, unless they have committed a serious or violent offence and pose a 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. The majority experienced childhood abuse and many are victims of domestic abuse.

This helps support the case that as most women in prison are vulnerable people, they should be only sent to prison when absolutely necessary.

Ahead of the introduction of her bill, Liberal Democrat Justice Spokesperson Daisy Cooper said: “Far too many women are sent to prison on short sentences for non-violent offences. Most of them have experienced abuse, and many are mothers of dependent children.

“This has a destructive impact on women and children, while doing very little to prevent crime and keep people safe.

“Women should only be sent to prison where absolutely necessary: for the most serious crimes, or where they pose a threat to the public. Tough, community-based sentences would be far more effective at preventing reoffending, and helping offenders turn their lives around.”

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