New minister for female offenders Lord McNally has announced women’s prison reforms which aim to maintain family ties and lower reoffending rates.

Under the new proposals, women will serve any prison sentence as close to home as possible, in order that they can easily see and maintain their bond with their children and other family members. Women will also be encouraged to take part in work-related training and even find employment during their sentence if a low-risk offender. The hope is that this will encourage women to see themselves as a part of their local community upon release.

The Transforming Rehabilitation reforms will also mean all offenders receive at least 12 months of tailored support to prevent reoffending. The female prison population is down 10% from 2010 and Lord McNally wants to see this reduce further.

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