In the Sentencing White Paper, A Smarter Approach, published in 2020, the Government committed to the piloting of five new problem-solving courts, including one which should specifically focus on the distinct needs of women who offend.
With the impending Government problem-solving pilots, it is timely to re-iterate the importance of good partnership working and collaboration between statutory and voluntary agencies in order to deliver effective, joined-up, gender-responsive approaches to women's offending that offer a viable alternative to short-term custodial sentences.
This briefing aims to support practitioners seeking to enhance their court-based response to women by providing:
- A summary of the evidence base on the dynamics of female offending and what works to reduce reoffending for women who offend;
- An overview of existing problem-solving court approaches to female offending;
- A set of implementation lessons for operating a women’s problem-solving court, derived from their experience and wider research.