Women’s Breakout seeks to identify, consolidate and share a collective voice that represents the diversity of women using our services. They are ‘experts by experience’ and their voice is critical to the success of the transformational agenda that the Criminal Justice System is currently embarking on.

In 2013 we delivered a project to bring together the voice of 100 women drawn from ten of our member organisations and projects. This voice was national in its reach, speaking to the issues and concerns of our service users and reflecting the reality of their lives. They decided who they wanted to hear their message, and how they wished to present it.

This project consisted of five phases (click on those that are underlined for more information):

(i)    100 Women Speak – all Women’s Breakout member organisations were asked to work with women around 10 semi-structured questions and we collected the ‘voice of over 100 women’ in response to the same questions.
(ii)    Deep diving – six of our member organisations worked with women to use innovative ways to create outcomes such as video diaries, collages and films that illustrate the voice of women in powerful mediums.
(iii)    Collective Voices – we held facilitated workshops for nine member organisations in this phase to explore key themes to be addressed in an Open Space Event.
(iv)    Open Space Event – this was a fantastic, energetic meeting of Experts by Experience and decision makers across the Criminal Justice System, that culminated in a set of five recommendations to decision makers. A report of this phase is now available on the Open Space Event page.
(v)    Lay Assessors – Ten women completed an accredited residential course at Fircroft College, Birmingham to become trained Lay Assessors.

Women Experts by Experience event

On 5 February 2014 we held an exciting event to share our journeys and outcome. We heard what women need to say, what could be done to achieve better outcomes for women who have offended, and women and organisations were identified who could help deliver better solutions.


PDF presentation from the event