Women in prison: PET submits written evidence to parliament

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28 July 2021

Students at computers

Prisoners’ Education Trust has submitted written evidence to the Justice Select Committee inquiry on women in prison, as it explores how well women’s needs are met in prison.

The inquiry was set up to understand the progress made over the past 10 years to address female offending and reduce the number of women in prison.

Every year, PET funds over 100 women in prison to take distance learning courses, offering the same courses to both the male and female estate. Some of the women we have funded use what they learn to support others – from founding charities helping women after release, to supporting young people caught up in crime.

In our submission we highlight that education is a protective factor, helping learners build resilience, and identify the benefits of studying for mental health and wellbeing. We describe the challenges of delivering education for women in prison and advocate for more higher-level learning opportunities, a wider curriculum and better access to digital technology.

We also comment on what should happen to support women leaving prison. Only 4% of women are in paid employment six weeks after release from custody – compared to 10% of men. We argue that women need access to good quality Information, Advice and Guidance (IAG) that is aspirational, realistic and holistic both during custody and on release.

Read our evidence here


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