Womans hands in handcuffs

Vulnerable women need better support to stop criminal reoffending

The manager of a Dorset charity has said that women are more likely to be involved in repeated criminal activities if they are experiencing issues in their personal lives.

Jo Wells, from The Footprints Project says: “I would say confidently that 100 percent of the women that we have worked with would be deemed to be a vulnerable person.”

“This means that, under the care act, they are someone who needs better access to services.”

100 percent of the women we have worked with would be deemed to be a vulnerable person

The Footprints Project have started working with Dorset Police on a new scheme to provide female offenders with better support in order to prevent further crimes.

Nationally, more than 70% of women who serve sentences of less than 12 months end up reoffending within a year.

“After an arrest has been made [the police] will interview the female, and as a result of that interview they may conclude that she is responsible, but actually the reason behind her offending is because she has a lot of difficulties in her life”, Jo continues.

“We are going to respond to the needs of these women by supporting them with a case worker and by having volunteer mentors who can also give them some extra support.”

The scheme was initiated  in response to the new government strategy for female offenders.

57% of female offenders are victims of abuse

In 2017, a report by the Prison Reform Trust showed that 57% of women in prison say they have been victims of domestic violence and abuse as adults.

The study also looked at young female offenders, discovering that 40% of them have suffered violence at home and 30% have experienced sexual abuse at some point in their lives.

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