£200,000 in funding to help female offenders turn their lives around

Police and crime commissioner for Cleveland Barry Coppinger.
Police and crime commissioner for Cleveland Barry Coppinger.

More than £200,000 in funding will go towards helping female offenders turn their lives around.

The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Cleveland has secured national funding to enhance support for convicted women who have complex and additional needs.

The Ministry of Justice have awarded £3.3million to 12 projects across the country from their Female Offender Community Investment Fund - including £200,000 for support services in Cleveland.

The fund will be used to employ four specially-trained workers, who will provide support for female offenders who have experienced domestic or sexual violence, as well as offenders from a black, Asian, and minority ethnic (BAME) background.

The roles will support female offenders to make positive changes in their lives and help them to address the underlying reasons that cause them to commit crime, including mental health problems and substance misuse.

Police and Crime Commissioner for Cleveland, Barry Coppinger, said: “I am committed to delivering services that help offenders break the cycle of criminal behaviour and will assist them in tackling the underlying issues that cause them to offend.

“This investment will allow us to enhance the support available for female offenders in Cleveland, particularly offenders from a BAME background or who have experienced domestic or sexual violence.

“These vulnerable groups need additional support to enable them to make the positive changes needed to turn away from crime and look to a brighter future.

“I’m delighted the additional funds from the Ministry of Justice will help to make this essential work a reality in Cleveland.”

Justice Minister Edward Argar said: “Evidence shows short sentences often fail to break the cycle of reoffending and we have set out clearly in our strategy a desire to divert women away from custody wherever possible.

“This investment is a vital first step in achieving this aim, and expanding these essential services will help break the cycle of offending and prevent further victims.”