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Prison 'not effective' for women

Justice minister Helen Grant has revealed plans for a new advisory board on female offenders.

The board will consider overhauling community sentences to offer a credible alternative to custody.

Speaking to Today programme presenter Sarah Montague Juliet Lyon, director of the Prison Reform Trust, explained: "You don't need to send so many to prison. For many it is a very harsh punishment and not an effective punishment"

Ann Widdecombe, former prisons minister, commented that men and women should be treated equally in the justice system and that there are more important issues to tackle.

"The major issue is what actually goes on in our prisons... That is the major issue and the rest is peripheral," she said.

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4's Today programme on Saturday 23 March 2013.

  • 23 Mar 2013
  • From the section UK