January 14th 2015 | Royal College of Surgeons, King Khalid Building

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About the event

It is well documented that the characteristics and needs of female offenders differ significantly to those of male offenders. Holyrood’s 2nd Annual Female Offenders Conference: Intervention and Support will discuss government’s progress and latest steps taken to build a justice system that better meets the needs of female offenders. The conference offers delegates the chance to learn about and discuss the ways in which early intervention and through-care is being embraced and implemented. This is a fantastic opportunity for those working with female offenders and those affected by their actions, to network with experts and professionals from a range of services across the justice system.

Where are we now?

In 2012 the Commission on Women Offenders made 37 recommendations to the Scottish Government to help create a justice system better suited to the needs of female offenders. Now, two years on from this investigation, Holyrood’s 2nd Annual Female Offenders Conference: Intervention and Support will explore what progress has been made in meeting these recommendations. Delegates will have the chance to discuss the development of the new women’s prison at Inverclyde and how training of prison officers has been changed to enable officers to have a greater understanding of the needs of female offenders and be able to offer more effective support. ​

The wider impact of offending

The majority of female offenders in Scotland are mothers, which means their offending is likely to have an impact that reaches far beyond them as an individual. It is widely accepted that children of offenders are more at risk of developing mental and physical health problems as well as being more likely to become offenders themselves. More has to be done to reduce the wider impact of female offending. This conference will examine the services being put in place both within and out with prisons that are helping mothers maintain positive contact with their children and reducing the trauma of prison sentences on families.  

Early intervention and support beyond prison

Reducing offending and reoffending are two of the key challenges for any justice system. Early intervention and support beyond prison are two of the most effective ways to reduce criminal behaviour. Holyrood’s 2nd Annual Female Offenders Conference: Intervention and Support will explore what early steps can be taken to stop those at risk becoming involved in offending behaviour and will examine the services that are available to female offenders upon their release from prison. Delegates will hear about the continuing development of through-care and the services provided by third-sector organisations which aim to ensure offenders receive the support they need when they are released from prison.