SCCJR: Female Imprisonment in Scotland

This latest report from the SCCJR outlines the key issues regarding women’s penal policy in Scotland. In particular, the report highlights why the characteristics of women’s offending differs so considerably from men’s. Women, they write ‘are typically convicted of relatively minor crimes that pose little public risk and, because they are usually convicted of offences that are less serious than those committed by men’. The report also addresses a troubling rise in the number of women sent to prison in Scotland in the last 15 years which has not been mirrored by a corresponding increase in women’s offending. The report’s main aim then is to explore the main causal factors driving the increased number of women incarcerated in Scotland.

Read the report here: Understanding the Drivers of Female Imprisonment in Scotland 


Women in Prison in Scotland, SCCCJ Report

A briefing paper from the SCCCJ, Women in Prison in Scotland: An Unmet Commitment, opens with a challenging comparison between the aspirational and reformative political rhetoric on women in prison on one hand, and on the other, the steady annual increase of women incarcerated in Scotland. The increased use of custodial sentences for women in Scotland is perplexing because it does not reflect increases in serious levels of criminality. Instead, women tend to be cycled through prison on short sentences. Short sentences offer little time to engage in rehabilitative programmes. Instead, short sentences serve to sever important personal bonds links with communities and families as well as economic responsibilities to work, meaning that many women lose their homes while in prison. 

The report provides a useful overview of the characteristics of women in prison, statistically illustrating their destructive mental health and addiction problems and their lack of social capital in general.









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