This week my colleague for Stretford and Urmston secured a debate on the female offender strategy as we mark its first year anniversary of being drafted.
I wanted to focus on three main points within my contribution: the lack of a women’s centre in Wales; the lack of data sharing between the Ministry of Justice and the Welsh Government; and the need to rethink how we rehabilitate female offenders.
I was able to raise my report into prison education in Wales, which I was asked to investigate last year, and note how the limited access to Welsh language resources for female offenders from Wales. Moreover, my review found that there was a lack of knowledge on how women returning from prison to Wales will reintegrate with society.
I also raised my concerns that the number of drug and alcohol treatment orders issues. The number of these treatment orders, which ensure that we tackle the root causes of crime and not just the consequences of crime, have halved in recent years. The longer we go without finding solutions to the problems driving people towards crime the longer we will see reoffending taking place.
The debate was much needed and as the new government is formed we need them to take female offender reform seriously and get a grip of the reoffending rates.