The Government has been urged to invest more funding in women's centres to help reduce the number of women in prison, in a new report published today.
The report by Women’s Budget Group shows a place at a women's centre costs up to £4,125 per place, compared to £52,121 for a place in prison. It is estimated that £2.84 is saved for every £1 spent on women’s centres.
However, the report warns that women's centres are facing a £10m funding gap for the year from March 2021, putting them at risk of closure.
Dr Kate Paradine, chief executive of Women in Prison said: 'There is overwhelming evidence that community support is best placed to address the root causes of why women are sent to prison in the first place, helping with issues ranging from mental health, to debt, domestic abuse, and parenting. But now Women’s Centres across the country lack the certainty that they can keep their doors open and support the women most exposed to the consequences of the pandemic.
'When the socio-economic effects of coronavirus start to bite, it is community services like women’s centres that help the most disadvantaged and marginalised individuals and families to weather the storm.'
The coalition is urging the Government to provide a new deal for funding women centre's in the upcoming Spending Review to help radically reduce the number of women in prison.