Breaking out of the justice loop

Friday, 16 June 2017

Last month we published Trapped in the Justice Loop?, by the former Ministry of Justice policy lead on women in the criminal justice system, Liz Hogarth.

The report assessed what had gone wrong with the criminal justice system's approach to women, since the landmark Corston Review in 2007. It also set out a blueprint for how a sustainable model for women-centred services might be developed in the future.

Agenda, the alliance for women and girls at risk, has today published a summary by Liz Hogarth of her main argument.

In the article, she argues:

There is an urgent need to break out of the ‘justice loop’ now and broaden the focus, shifting attention on how best to stem the flow of women into the criminal justice system.

The locus for change has to be on improving and increasing woman-centred support and services in the community for women with extensive experience of abuse and trauma...

The network of woman-centred projects should be rebuilt, expanded and nurtured so that they are embedded in local communities. They should be involved, along with others in the women’s sector, in shaping the local strategy for women with multiple, complex needs and in the design, development and delivery of gender-sensitive health and social care provision.

Focusing efforts on what is needed to support women at the earliest stage of contact with the criminal justice system or even before, presents a real opportunity to realise the original Corston vision for ‘women at risk’.