Evaluation of the Whole System Approach for Women Offenders Executive Summary Dec 2015
Rachel Kinsella, Caroline O'Keeffe, Jackie Lowthain, Becky Clarke, Mark Ellison
Although women remain a minority group in the criminal justice system (CJS), there is increasing recognition amongst policy makers of the importance of understanding the needs of female offenders in order to better target resources and provide support that is responsive to these needs. The whole system approach (WSA) that has been funded by Partnership Funds from Cheshire and Greater Manchester Community Rehabilitation Company (CGM CRC), NHS England and resources from the Financial Incentive Model (FIM), a payment by results reward for a reduction in demand on the CJS, aims to embed genderresponsive support for women at three points of the criminal justice system - arrest, sentencing and upon release from prison. Nine women's centres across the boroughs provide the support 'hubs' for women referred via these different routes. The governance and funding of the WSA is overseen by the Justice and Rehabilitation Executive (JRE).
The evaluation of the WSA undertaken by the Hallam Centre for Community Justice at Sheffield Hallam University and the Policy Evaluation and Research Unit at Manchester Metropolitan University aims to build on current knowledge regarding the needs of female offenders and to explore how services can best be integrated across the whole criminal justice pathway from arrest to sentence and custody discharge. The learning will provide a foundation from which the approach can be refined with the potential for wider roll-out across other areas. This report provides a summary of the findings from the full interim report, which focused on early implementation of the WSA across Greater Manchester. The final report from the full evaluation, including an impact assessment is due in November 2017.