Commission on women offenders: Service Redesign


  • Community Justice Centres (one stop shops based on the 218 Service, Willow

Project and Women’s Centres in England) are established for women offenders

to enable them to access a consistent range of services to reduce reoffending

and bring about behavioural change.

  • Multi-disciplinary teams (comprising, as a minimum, a criminal justice social

worker, a health professional and an addictions worker, where relevant) are

established in the Community Justice Centres to co-ordinate offending

interventions and needs, reduce duplication of effort and make more efficient

use of resources.

  • Women at risk of reoffending or custody should have a named key worker from

the multi-disciplinary team as a single point of contact as they move through the

criminal justice system, including any periods in custody, to co-ordinate the

planning and delivery of interventions.

  • Intensive mentoring (a one-to-one relationship where practical support

and monitoring is provided by mentors on a wide range of issues relating

to offending behaviour) should be available to women offenders at risk of

reoffending or custody to support compliance with court orders.

  • Supported accommodation should be more widely available for women

offenders to increase the likelihood of a woman successfully completing an

order or complying with bail conditions.

  • A national service level agreement for the provision of psychiatric reports

is developed between the National Health Service (NHS) and the Scottish Court

Service to increase access and timeliness of such reports to assist the court with

a sentencing decision.

  • Mental health services and approaches should be developed in such a way

that facilitates women with borderline personality disorder to access them.

  • Mental health programmes and interventions for short-term prisoners

are designed so that they can continue to be delivered in a seamless way in

the community.

  • The Scottish Government’s mental health strategy must place a greater

focus on women offenders, specifically the provision of services to address

trauma, self-harm and borderline personality disorder.

  • An urgent review of the provision and resourcing of services for women

with borderline personality disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder

(in relation to previous abuse and neglect) should be carried out.

  • Mental health training for police, prison officers, criminal justice social

workers and third sector must be widely available, with ongoing supervision.


From: Commission on women offenders report, April 2012