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Courses 'would be better than prison' for women

15 July 2013 Last updated at 10:01 BST

The government is ignoring the needs of women offenders with its probation reforms, the Commons Justice Select Committee has said.

Kay, an ex-offender, who has been in prison once after being convicted on a drugs offence, told the Today programme's Justin Webb being in prison "knocks self confidence" and "self belief".

She said "courses and training" would be a much better way to help women who have offended.

Labour peer Baroness Corston, who suggested a number of reforms six years ago, said she was worried the "progress made by the previous government has not only stalled but is in danger of going into reverse".

She said the system now is "perfectly tailored for a man", and added the majority of the women in prison now "shouldn't be there because they are troubled rather than troublesome".

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4's Today programme on Monday 15 July 2013

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