PACT welcomes the news that the Ministry of Justice is planning to invest £5m in community provision for female offenders as an alternative to prison. We also agree with the Magistrates Association’s call for women who commit minor crimes to be given support rather than a custodial sentence.
Our award-winning Alana House women’s community project has been working with vulnerable and distressed women, including those who have offended, for eight years and we have seen first-hand the difference this methodology makes to women and their children and families.
Alana House uses a trauma-informed holistic approach to support women to take control of their lives, divert them from crime by supporting them to make informed decisions and improve their life chances. Many of the women who come to Alana House have experienced Adverse Childhood Experiences including domestic abuse, poor mental health, alcohol or substance misuse, poverty, unemployment and isolation.
Alana House supports women by giving them opportunities to make courageous and positive changes that significantly impact not only their lives and those of their children but also the wider community.
A Social Return on Investment report into Alana House found that the “life-changing” effects of Alana House’s work delivered more than £35m of economic and social value, in the lives of these women and their children, every year.
PACT’s Chief Operating Officer Natausha van Vliet said: “We would welcome the opportunity for PACT to work with the Ministry of Justice and help to inform the planning of the trial of residential centres and how this will support and contribute to the valuable work being carried out in women’s centres like Alana House around the country.”