A collection of stories around the Criminal Justice Sector, particularly relating to women.

Upskirting became a criminal offence

Upskirting, the act of taking a photo or video up someone’s skirt without their permission, became a criminal offence in England and Wales on 12 April.  It was already an offence in Scotland, and is punishable by two years in custody.  For more information, including regional figures on reported cases, see the Independent article and the Gov.uk website.

 

With thanks to Clinks for these items:

The case for abolition of short sentences

David Gauke MP, Secretary of State for Justice, has signalled he wants to end short-term prison sentences. In a speech, ‘Beyond prison, redefining punishment’, David Gauke said the high rate of reoffending for those on sentences of less than six months has shown that “prison simply isn’t working”.  You can read his full speech online.

Entry of women into the justice system

The Howard League has launched a three year programme, supported by Lloyds Bank Foundation, to reduce the arrests of women and stem the flow of women into the criminal justice system. It will promote good practice by the police and other agencies that divert women away from the criminal justice system where possible, preventing them serving custodial sentences or a community penalty. Find out more on the Howard League website.

Strategy to end violence

The government published a progress update on its strategy to end violence against women and girls. The update gives progress on the 95 actions committed to in the strategy, of which 54 have been completed. Actions that are still a work in progress include establishing a ‘What Works Centre’ for evidence-based resources and developing a cross-government approach to increase the diversity of provision and access to services for victims with complex needs. Find out more on the Gov.uk website.

Violence and multiple disadvantage

Breaking down barriers is the final report from the National Commission on Domestic and sexual violence and Multiple Disadvantage published by Against Violence and Abuse (AVA) and Agenda. The report makes a series of recommendations that include the need for diversion from the criminal justice system and into gender-specific community support for women, particularly for crimes related to prostitution. It also recommends the need for universally available women specific substance use services with childcare provision. Find out more on the Agenda website.