This summary contains details of UK Government parliamentary debates, announcements and legislative changes relevant to women, criminal justice system and the women’s community sector in England.
The House of Commons returned from summer recess on 5 September.
Highlights this month:
- The Public Accounts Committee inquiry into Transforming Rehabilitation, which Women’s Breakout submitted written evidence to, published a report finding Government reforms to probation services are far from complete, with no clear picture of performance, with concern that the full potential of the third sector is not being realised.
- Following her ministerial appointment as Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice, Lizz Truss was sworn in on 21 July.
- At an evidence session with the Commons Justice Select Committee Lizz Trussrefused to guarantee that the new prisons bill, promised at the heart of the Queen’s speech in May this year, would go ahead as planned.
- The Ministry of Justice Safety in Custody statistical bulletin on deaths, self-harm and assaults in prisons quarterly update to March 2016 showed the number of self-inflicted deaths by women increased from one in the previous 12 months to 11, making for more than 10% of all self-inflicted deaths in prisons at a time when women make up fewer than one in 20 of the prison population.
- The House of Commons Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has announced aninquiry into the Troubled Families Programme. The inquiry has been welcomedby the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies, who have carried out researchabout this controversial programme suggesting it has not been as successful as claimed.
- Government set out new measures to tackle Islamic extremism in prisons, including plans for ‘specialist units’, following a review into Islamist extremism in prisons, probation and youth justice.
- Courts reform plans set out intended to give stronger protection for victims and witnesses, including vulnerable victims and witnesses no longer having to appear in court under new plans to roll out pre-trial evidence sessions.