Anawim Birmingham’s Centre for Women has received funding to deliver community rehabilitation for women in contact with the criminal justice system, for the first time in four years.
Currently three out of five women are serving prison sentences of less than six months. While this isn’t enough time to access long-term support, it is enough time for a woman to lose her home, her job and her children.
Through the new contract, rather than serving damaging, short-term prison sentences, women will receive tailored, trauma-informed support in an environment that empowers them to rebuild their lives.
Funding was won through a joint bid with the Women’s Justice Partnership, made up of Anawim, Black Country Women’s Aid, Changing Lives and Green Square Accord.
Women will receive support managing debt and finances, help to overcome substance misuse and support to improve personal wellbeing, such as confidence building and awareness of healthy relationships, as well as access to employability and skills-based courses.
The majority of women in contact with the criminal justice system have committed non-violent, survival-related crimes, directly resulting from experiences of abuse, trauma and poverty. By addressing the root causes of this behaviour, community-based services are proven to reduce reoffending by giving women the best possible chance to start again.
Community rehabilitation will be offered across the West Midlands region. Green Square Accord will cover Chelmsley Wood, Black Country Women’s Aid will cover North and Central Birmingham and Anawim will cover South Birmingham from its Balsall Heath centre, as well as East Birmingham from the Dolphin Centre in Washwood Heath.
Joy Doal, CEO of Anawim, said:
“Properly delivered community rehabilitation provides women with the support they need to address the root causes of criminal behaviour and break the cycle of getting caught up in the criminal justice system. Women can stay in the community, close to their support networks, they can stay in their home if they have one and children can stay with their mothers, rather than having their lives upheaved.
Moving away from these behaviours can be a challenge, they are often as a result of unaddressed trauma, broken confidence and systemic inequality, but with the right support women can change their lives around. While it’s certainly not a ‘soft’ option, it pays dividends in lives restored and money saved.”
Notes to editor:
- Anawim is a non-profit organisation based in Balsall Heath, Birmingham, providing trauma-informed support for women experiencing violence and abuse, poor mental health and economic inequality across the West Midlands.
- Anawim CEO, Joy Doal, is available for interviews.
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