10 March 2006

Women and Criminal Justice

John O from www.mojuk.org.uk sends me interesting pieces of information on matters relating to the legal system and prisons. I will post some of these (along with my responses) on my blog in the hope it generates some debate?

The first one I want to highlight relates to Charles Kennedy's (Secretary of State) recent statement in the house of parliament on the matter of Women and Criminal Justice. You can read his full statement HERE

My own response to his statement now follows and is taken from the Mojuk newsletter

Charles Clarke issued a written Ministerial statement 'Women and Criminal Justice' on Wednesday the 8th March to mark International Women's Day.

Obviously we must welcome all the proposals being put forward and hope that they are realised?

Many women in prison suffer terribly from being separated from their children and the amount of self-harm is frightening.

I do feel it is necessary to promote education in prisons to help those who maybe did not achieve in school but other projects that used to run in prisons were shelved because everything now has to be 'accredited'. Thus initiatives like sewing, cookery and home making were deemed unsuitable because they did not carry accredited status.

A lot of women need help with such areas and I feel more needs to be done in this field.

What I also feel is very important is support on release. It is pointless to lock people up for the specified time and then merely release them with little, and in some cases, no support!

When in a Mother and Baby unit in prison, there is always help and support, but the worrying factor is who follows this through when the Mother and child leave the confines of the prison?

I believe far more is needed to help prisoners through the period on release when they feel vulnerable and maybe have no job - sometimes no home! Is it any wonder so many reoffend?

Sue May

I will post again with more interesting pieces from Mojuk's newsletter.


Blogger Yonner said...

Sue, I was wondering. Have you been in touch with Charles Clarke at all? Does he allow people like you (normal folk) to contact him? Does he reply? I notice he isn't on your "Parliamentary Friends" list. Just wondering if he has had any involvement in your case to date.

11:21 pm  
Blogger Susan said...

I have written to all the various Home Secretaries over the years, Prime Ministers too, and sometimes you get a response, but only an acknowledgement of your letter. The usual reply is 'we are unable to deal with a specific case'. Of course Charles Clarke must have been inundated with letters calling for my release whilst I was still in jail and he would be the Minister who sanctioned my Parole!

2:40 pm  

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