Women’s Breakout policy update 22 April to 20 May 2016

This summary contains details of UK Government parliamentary debates, announcements and legislative changes relevant to women and the criminal justice system and the women’s community sector in England.

Please note: the House of Commons was on recess between 28th April and 3rd May 2016. The House will next be on recess from 26th May to 6th June, and then 15 to the 27th June. The EU referendum will take place on 23rd June. Purdah begins on 27th May during which time there will be restrictions on publications by public bodies.

Highlights this month:

  • The state opening of parliament took place on 18th May with the Queens’ Speechannouncing the government’s legislative programme for the coming year, including plans for a Prison and Courts Reform Bill.
  • Michael Gove addressed the Governing Governors’ Forum, making the case that Governors would be critical to his vision of penal reform with greater autonomy to run their own establishments.
  • Questions were asked in the House of Commons on: investing capital receipts from the sale of HM Prison Holloway in support services for women offender; theadequacy and tailoring mental health support for prisoners; sentencing rates for women.
  • Dame Sally Coates’ independent report on education in prison was published, with recognition of the challenges women face accessing employment post-release.
  • Google marked Mother’s Day in the United States with an online Digital #LoveLetters from children of the incarcerated project.

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