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‘Transforming rehabilitation’ for women? A view from the courts

Birkett, G. (2013). ‘Transforming rehabilitation’ for women? A view from the courts. British Journal of Community Justice, 11(2-3), pp. 149-152.


Coming into force next year, the Coalition government’s Transforming Rehabilitation agenda will (amongst other things) extend supervision to offenders released from short-term sentences and open up probation services to new private providers. As seventy per cent of women sentenced to custody receive sentences of less than twelve months (Seal and Phoenix 2013: 168; see also Cabinet Office 2009; Gelsthorpe and Sharpe 2009), four out of every five of short sentences for women are passed by magistrates (Hedderman 2012: 5). Why women offenders are more likely than men to receive immediate custody from magistrates stimulates widespread debate in both academia and practice (see for example Corston 2007; Hedderman 2012; Hunter and Radcliffe 2013; Howard League 2013a). There is also increasing concern that the introduction of a “criminal justice market” (Gelsthorpe and Hedderman 2012: 375) will bring more risks than benefits to existing provision (ibid; see also Prison Reform Trust 2013; Women in Prison 2013; Howard League 2013b). As part of this on-going conversation, it is important to seek the viewpoints of those who are best placed to answer. In this extremely timely and policy-relevant issue of the British Journal of Community Justice, it is crucial, therefore, to have a view from the courts.

Publication Type: Article
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
K Law > K Law (General)
Departments: Interdisciplinary Centres > Law, Justice & Journalism
SWORD Depositor:
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