SHE focuses on community-based habilitation & housing for women at risk of offending and women who live in East Lancashire.
Prisons are overcrowded. Short custodial sentences continue to prove ineffective for women offenders. And mature female prisoners are a rapidly growing demographic.
Research has made it clear that prison is an expensive and impractical way of dealing with women who do not pose a significant risk to the public. These women also require a very different approach when it comes to addressing the root causes of offending.
The Corston Report has been a positive influence in highlighting the differences between male and female offenders. In her report, Baroness Corston recommended the creation of, “a distinct, radically different, visibly-led, strategic, proportionate, holistic, woman-centred, integrated approach,” as a much more effective response to offending.
But we need to do more.
Older women with convictions need a unique set of interventions, currently not readily available. They face challenging obstacles, for example keeping their family unit together, and finding employment, sometimes many years after their last job or in some cases, for the first time. Others may need help juggling family responsibilities with work and managing the two together.
Mature women who have committed such offences (non-violent, dishonesty or shoplifting offences) often face the following obstacles upon conviction:
- Loss of the Family Home
- Children Taken Into Care
- Making Court Ordered Appointments Requiring Significant Distances of Travel
- Payment of Fines
Short-term custodial sentences prolong the habilitation process and often make it impossible for older women with family responsibilities to rebuild their lives and integrate back into their communities as law-abiding citizens.
We offer fully integrated interventions for women aged 25 and over. Combining a holistic approach with effective tailor-made support that will appeal to mature women and help them re-bond with communities, children, and families, and encourage a brighter future without having to resort to crime. By ensuring that interventions are fully integrated, and housed in one location as opposed to several often covering long distances, the programme actively reduces the potential for missed appointments and the non-payment of fines.
The programme aims to support mature women at first point of contact with Police by offering programmes which:
- Address the needs of women with convictions by working with communities and encouraging family engagement
- Re-integrate mature female offenders into the community, cultivating not only the community itself but rebuilding these women’s lives both physically and emotionally
- Address the root causes of behaviours that lead to convictions
- Encourage positive behaviours
- Self-Employment workshops including registration with HMRC, bookkeeping and marketing
- A safe & secure staffed IT Suite & coffee area available for women to work on courses,
- One-to-one sessions. Booked in advance due to sensitive nature and room availability
- Debt support, negotiating with creditors, legal advice
- Weekend & evening appointments available at Yorkshire Street for one-to-one support.
These programmes satisfy the Ministry of Justice’s recently published “Strategic objectives”, (March 2013) which require the provision of services in the community that recognise and address the specific needs of women.
We are able to offer secure, safe, independent and supported housing for women (subject to risk assessment and need) who are of no fixed abode. Please note this accommodation is subject to conditions and policies. SHE housing scheme operates on a cooperative structure. Each member of the scheme is involved with every area of their progress. SHE members field work back into the project to grow a strong & healthy community.
If you would like to find out more about the programme and our supported living accommodation,please get in touch with us.
Our address is:
BURNLEY, PENDLE & ROSSENDALE COUNCIL FOR VOLUNTARY SERVICES
EAST LANCASHIRE VOLUNTARY SECTOR RESOURCE CENTRE
62-64 Yorkshire Street
Tel: 07969 896205