Action taken to reduce the number of mothers imprisoned with their infants in England and Wales.
Baroness Corston enjoins “… she [the Government] acknowledge that there is overwhelming public support in this country for the proposition that women who commit non-violent offences who are mothers of small children should not be locked up at all?”
Baroness Northover responds: “I pay tribute to the noble Baroness for all her work in this area, which shifted the last Labour Government enormously in terms of what they did. We are building on that work. As I mentioned, one of the changes in the last justice Bill, LASPO, says, for example, that if it is unlikely that somebody is going to have a custodial sentence, they are not remanded in prison. …….. Similarly, there has been a turning around of what happens if somebody breaches their community order. It was mandatory before that that should be escalated, which often meant that women in that circumstance ended up in prison. What is suggested now is that there should be a fine-and that, too, should divert women away from prison. There are a number of ways in which it is extremely important to approach this to try to ensure that women are kept out of prison when that is appropriate, but to ensure that they are well supported if they are in prison.”