What is Justice Matters for Women about?

Criminal justice fails women.

Current responses to criminalised women are seriously flawed and harmful to women. Prioritising the criminal justice system in our response to violence against women has undermined the development of more effective ways to address the harms women face.

As part of the Centre’s Justice Matters initiative, we are working with Women in Prison and a growing network of individuals and organisations who want to support alternatives to criminal justice for women.

Through events and online publications we seek to generate discussion about criminal justice failure for women. Importantly, however, this isn’t just about criticising criminal justice or those people working to support women caught up in it. It’s about forming alliances and sharing knowledge about how we can do things differently beyond criminal justice.

A call to action

The Centre for Crime and Justice Studies, in collaboration with Women in Prison, have issued a call to action to: Empower women, resist injustice and transform lives

The call to action says:

The harms women face are widespread yet consistently ignored. Many criminal justice interventions and support services serve to replicate and reinforce unequal gender relations rather than tackle the root causes of harm... We are calling on others to work with us to challenge structural inequality and eradicate punishment and control in women's lives.

You can read it in full here and find out why others are supporting this call here.

Resources and information

  • Event: In May 2015 we held a one day conference bringing together activists, researchers and women affected by criminal justice. You can find out more and watch the footage here.

  • Articles: Read all of the Justice Matters for Women comment pieces on our website.

  • Report: Read 'Empower, resist, transform: A collection of essays', to find out how women and society are repeatedly failed by criminal justice.

  • Event: In November 2014 we held a roundtable event to consider the existing knowledge about interventions and policies that prevent violence against women and girls.

  • Event: We held a workshop to discuss Justice Matters for Women in March 2014.

  • Online: You can read all the latest Justice Matters for Women web content on our site here.  

  • Watch: In 2013 Helen Mills introduced the some of the background thinking behind the initiative in a short film.

Conference footage

On 20 May 2015 we held a conference in central London. You can watch some of the footage below, and read more about it here.