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Revolving Doors responds to IMBs’ finding that the number of women sent to prison solely on mental health grounds is increasing

In response to the Independent Monitoring Boards (IMBs) finding that the number of women sent to prison as a ‘place of safety’ or for their ‘own protection’ due to mental health issues, frequently driven by lack of mental health support in the community, Pavan Dhaliwal, Chief Executive of Revolving Doors commented:

“That anyone is sent to prison solely because they are experiencing a mental health crisis should already be a source of national shame. The fact that this practice is increasing for women, despite commitments from the government to ban this practice, is appalling. Prison is no place for someone who is experiencing mental health issues, including those who are driven into the cycle of crisis and crime. Our women lived experience members consistently tell us it is the rule, not the exception, that mental health issues, domestic abuse, problems with drugs and alcohol and poverty drives repeat contact with the criminal justice system.

“All evidence points to a clear solution: the end to short prison sentences and instead well-funded, trauma-informed, and personalised support in the community that addresses the root causes of crime. Yet, over 4 years after the Female Offender Strategy’s promise of fewer women entering the criminal justice system and better management of their needs in the community, the Government continues to fall short.”


Notes to the editor

Revolving Doors is a national charity working to break the cycle of crisis and crime. We advocate for a system that addresses the drivers of contact with the criminal justice system, including trauma, poverty and discrimination. We bring independent research, policy expertise and lived experience together to champion long-term solutions for justice reform.

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