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Up to 500 new prison cells are to be built in women’s jails, the Ministry of Justice has announced.

This comes at stark news as women’s organisations, such as Anawim, face a funding cliff edge in April.

Although MoJ has pledged almost £2m in funding to 38 charities, Anawim included, this is a far cry from what is needed to provided stability for women who need support.

In addition, the decision to fund new prison places directly contradicts the Government’s own strategy and flies in the face of all evidence which shows the need for community support in order to address the root causes of offending, such as domestic violence, mental ill health and poverty.

The majority of women in prison are there for non-violent crimes and the impact of a short custodial sentence can be extremely detrimental. In contract, community support services such as women’s centres have been proven to reduce reoffending.

We are calling on the Government to make things right in the upcoming Budget, securing the future of local women’s specialist services by investing in sustainable funding rather than more prisons places.

You can sign the petition asking Govt to stop the building of more prison places here. You can also join the conversation using the hashtag #StopThe500.