Gerald Vernon-Jackson, Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate for Portsmouth South, has today pledged a commitment to support Women in Prison's Manifesto which calls for a new approach to criminal justice, where the abuse, marginalisation and poverty at the root of so much of women’s offending is addressed and custodial sentencing is used as a last resort.
The campaign is a response to the alarming fact that the UK has one of the highest rates of women’s imprisonment in Western Europe. The majority serve short sentences for non-violent offences. Short sentences wreck lives, a few weeks inside can mean a woman loses her children, her home, and her job. Many women are trapped in an endless cycle within the Criminal Justice System – 45% are reconvicted within a year of release.
Gerald has given his support to Women in Prison's manifesto, which calls for:
Greater use of alternatives to custodial sentencing
Cross-departmental Ministerial leadership
Support for the women-specialist voluntary sector
Action to ensure no woman leaves prison homeless
Commitment and acceleration of gender-specific reforms to the women’s prison estate
Women in Prison’s Policy and Campaigns Manager Claire Cain said: “We are delighted to have Gerald’s support. Together it’s time to make change. No woman should be in prison as it exists today, community alternatives work, are cheaper and cause less disruption. The current system is too expensive for the public purse, and too expensive for the women’s lives.”
You can find out more about Women in Prison's campaign at www.womeninprison.org.uk/ge2015.