Women in Prison responds to HMIP's first annual report

On 20 July 2021 the HMIP released its first annual report.

The report showed that Covid-19 restrictions have affected primary carers and women in prison disproportionally – specifically the suspension of release on temporary licence (ROTL) for family contact.

Dr Kate Paradine, chief executive of Women in Prison, said:

“When a primary carer goes to prison it affects her whole family, disrupting children's lives and damaging mental and physical health. As this damning report shows, this has only worsened during coronavirus with the suspension of temporary release disproportionately affecting women in prison and primary carers. This means that women were unable to stay in contact with children, relying on glitchy technology and expensive phone calls that many can’t afford. This is even more heartbreaking when we remember 3 in 5 women in prison have children under 18.

“It doesn’t have to be like this. The Government should halt plans to build 500 new prison places for women and instead invest in community solutions, including Women’s Centres, so women can get the support they need to tackle the reasons that swept them up into crime, such as homelessness, poverty and mental ill-health. By focusing on keeping women in the community, we can keep children and parents together.“