Women in Prison responds to the Ministry of Justice’s funding announcement

On 1st September 2022 the Ministry of Justice announced £21m funding for women’s services working in the criminal justice system. A further £3.6million will be allocated to statutory services to enable them to work more closely together to respond to the needs of women in contact with the criminal justice system.

This funding is welcome and is an important contribution to safeguarding the network of Women’s Centres across England and Wales. We know investing in these organisations saves money for the public purse, with research from the Women’s Budget Group showing that Women’s Centres save £2.84 for every £1 spent.

Sonya Ruparel, Chief Executive of Women in Prison says “The £21m funding for women’s services is a step in the right direction. It will provide much needed respite to Women’s Centres working tirelessly to meet the needs of women at risk of or in contact with the criminal justice system. But the money available is providing a temporary solution to a long-term problem and pales into insignificance when compared with the £200m the government are investing in an extra 500 prison places for women.

If the government are to truly achieve the outcomes outlined in their 2018 women’s justice strategy all government departments should work together to invest in services to meet women’s needs, including Women’s Centres. Only then can we fully address the root causes of women’s offending, such as domestic violence and abuse, debt and homelessness and prevent women from getting drawn into the criminal justice system in the first place.”