New purpose built accommodation for women at Anawim

New purpose built accommodation for women at Anawim
In March 2007 The Rt Hon. Baroness Jean Corston published her definitive review of women with particular vulnerabilities in the Criminal Justice System. The Corston Report was drafted in response to the tragic deaths of 6 women at HMP Styal. 43 recommendations were made to radically improve the approaches to women in the Criminal Justice System & Anawim Women Working Together (WWT) were cited as a model on which subsequent Women’s Centres should be based.

On Tuesday 13 December 2016 Anawim were proud to be open a new purpose built facility providing 24 hour supported accommodation for women leaving prison. They were honoured to welcome The RT Hon. Baroness Jean Corston to officially open the building. Amongst their distinguished guests werea The Most Reverend Bernard Longley, Archbishop of Birmingham, Lord Mayor of Birmingham Cllr Carl Rice and The Lord Beecham.

The building will house 6 self-contained flats which will be available from Jan 2017 & will offer round-the-clock support, drop-in facilities and a response service to help women as needs arise, including counselling victims of rape and sexual violence. It will also house the Prison & Outreach Team, crèche and family support. Anawim has found that that often women who leave prison with nowhere to go will naturally gravitate back to the places & people that are familiar to them; often to situations that result in re-imprisonment. Anawim hope, by giving women a home with support they can break that cycle.

Anawim WWT will be working with the University of Birmingham’s Pro-Vice Chancellor and Head of College of Social Sciences Professor Saul Becker on a 4 year research project which will investigate if providing on-site accommodation, alongside other service provision offered by Anawim will significantly benefit women who have recently left prison. The project will produce several academic and practitioner outputs, and involve policy-makers throughout to demonstrate engagement for impact and an influence on government strategy.

In March 2017 Anawim WWT & The Rt Hon. Baroness Corston will be involved in a series of events including one in the House of Lords organised by Women In Prison and other women’s sector partner organisations. The aim of the event will be to celebrate the impact of the Corston Report in establishing the value of women’s centre provision and to highlight how far we have yet to go to address the issues facing women in the criminal justice system, particularly the urgent need to reduce the number of women sent to prison for non-violent offences.

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