It is plain that across the board there is a desire for change in relation to women and criminal justice. Many examples exists of wonderful, creative, worthwhile and even evidently successful projects in relation to diverting women away from custody and improving conditions for women who lose their liberty. Research related to women and criminal justice is ongoing from a range of respected and vociferous advocates such as Women’s Breakout, The Prison Reform Trust, Women in Prison and Halsbury’s Law Exchange to name but a few – many working together to effect change. There is no doubt that evidence and recommendations from each of these respected bodies – and more alongside them – will call for real change, offering genuine educated and reasonable arguments for doing so. However arguably (at least for now), the real “power” lies with the Courts, ergo it is the Courts who need to be at the vanguard of change.
Halsbury’s Law Exchange, 3rd August 2015