Julian Ware-Lane supports Women in Prison’s campaign and calls for a new approach to criminal justice for women
Julian Ware-Lane, Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for Southend West, has today pledged a commitment to support Women in Prison’s Manifesto which calls for a new approach to criminal justice, where the abuse, marginalisation and poverty at the root of so much of women’s offending is addressed and custodial sentencing is used as a last resort.
The campaign is a response to the alarming fact that the UK has one of the highest rates of women’s imprisonment in Western Europe. The majority serve short sentences for non-violent offences. Short sentences wreck lives, a few weeks inside can mean a woman loses her children, her home, and her job. Many women are trapped in an endless cycle within the Criminal Justice System – 45% are reconvicted within a year of release.
Julian has given his support to Women in Prison’s manifesto, which calls for:
• Greater use of alternatives to custodial sentencing
• Cross-departmental Ministerial leadership
• Support for the women-specialist voluntary sector
• Action to ensure no woman leaves prison homeless
• Commitment and acceleration of gender-specific reforms to the women’s prison estate
Women in Prison’s Policy and Campaigns Manager Claire Cain said: “We are delighted to have Julian’s support. Together it’s time to make change. No woman should be in prison as it exists today, community alternatives work, are cheaper and cause less disruption. The current system is too expensive for the public purse, and too expensive for the women’s lives.”
Julian said: “Whilst the public must be protected and crimes punished, it should never be about revenge. We must have a system that properly rehabilitates, a system that sees re-offending as low as we can get it. For rehabilitation to really work we cannot see lives wrecked.”
You can find out more about Women in Prison’s campaign at www.womeninprison.org.uk/ge2015.