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Independent Taskforce calls for new cross-government strategy to divert women from crime
Effective community sentences that command the confidence of the courts should cut women’s offending, reduce the women’s prison population and save the public purse, according to a report launched by the independent Women’s Justice Taskforce.
Over the past 15 years the women’s prison population has risen from 1,800 to over 4,000 today – an increase of 114%. Most women serve short sentences for non-violent crime and for those serving sentences of less than 12 months, almost two thirds are reconvicted within a year of release.
The average cost of a women’s prison place is £56,415 a year. By contrast, an intensive community order costs in the region of £10,000 - £15,000.