THREAD: We received an interesting question on the focus of an upcoming event. The upcoming event with @Womans_Place_UK is about women drawn into the criminal justice system (CJS) specifically for a few reasons. Why centre women?
Women are a minority in the prison system, this is true. Circa 95% of prisoners are men. We argue that most in prison do not belong there, men & women. Imprisonment compounds complex issues (violence, drug, alcohol, MH problems, poverty, disadvantage).
There are issues specific to women in prison which provokes a different approach & a pressing need to eliminate the imprisonment of women. Why?
Women are much more likely to be primary carers than men. 95% of children have to leave home when their mother goes to prison. Many women are imprisoned for non-violent & minor offences for short periods & it has devastating & rippling effects on children.
Many women have been unjustly criminalized for actions linked to domestic abuse (DA) perpetrated against them. The issue of brain injury has been emphasized again & again, often as a result of DA. Check out the infographic & further reading here:
Imprisonment of women (largely for non-violent acts) could be replaced by refuges for the significant number of victims of DA & community support to divert. Prison for women doesn’t resolve issues: mental health, drug addiction, learning disabilities, poverty and marginalisation.
The rights of the child to family life should be taken into consideration (under the Human Rights Act). Too many children are forced into upheaval when their mothers are sentenced without recognition of their caring status. &…
Summary: It is OK to focus on women's imprisonment separately from men's. Women are a minority in the prison system, have different routes into the system & have diff needs. Hence the event we're holding with @Womans_Place_UK
If you're interested in knowing more, we'd signpost you to Rona Epstein, @ShonaMinson @we_are_APPEAL @WIP_live

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