Women in Prison (WIP) is a national charity that delivers support for women affected by the criminal justice system in prisons, in the community and through our Women's Centres. We campaign to end the harm caused to women, their families and our communities by imprisonment..
Our Vision is for a new system of justice that addresses the root causes of offending (including poverty, mental ill-health, harmful substance use, homelessness and experiences of trauma and abuse) in communities through a network of women’s centres and provides services available to every woman who requires support in facing numerous and complex challenges.
Our Mission is to persuade decision-makers to radically reduce the women’s prison population, by demonstrating how a focus on human rights, social justice, health and investment in specialist community support services, including Women’s Centres, enables women to move forward with their lives.
We do this by:
- Leading inspiring, passionate campaigns for systemic change and to radically reduce the number of women in prison, thereby freeing resources for investment in community support services, including women’s centres.
- Delivering high quality, trauma-informed, independent advocacy and support services for women, in communities and prisons, which focus on early intervention, health and holistic provision as part of a ‘whole system’ multi-agency response.
- Offering a platform for women’s voices that builds women’s confidence and self-belief, strengthening an understanding of their rights and responsibilities, and provides opportunities to ‘speak truth to power’ to bring about real change.
Social justice and feminism – We are committed to social justice and the feminist goal of equality. We see daily the price paid by women, children and families as a result of injustices across sex, gender, race, sexual orientation, disability, age, religion and class. The current criminal justice system causes harm and delivers neither justice nor rehabilitation. We know from experience that a women-centred, health-focused ‘whole system’ approach is the best way to reduce crime, strengthen communities and protect the public.
Independence and trust – Core to our success is our independence and the trust placed in us by the women with whom we work, whose energy and assets are at the heart of our services and campaigns. This partnership, based on independence and trust, is a vital part of our ethos and drives our ability to ‘speak truth to power’.
Dedication to changing our lives and the world – We believe that women can change the world, as well as their own and their families’ lives, when they are offered meaningful support and opportunities to speak out, utilise their strengths and be ambitious for change. We know that this requires perseverance and hope. We see setbacks as a chance to learn from failure, renew our efforts and try a different approach, not a reason to give up.