Proposed changes to the Sentencing Council's guidelines

The Sentencing Council has announced changes to their guidelines including new measures covering pregnancy and maternity. Earlier this year, they also launched a consultation on the Imposition of community and custodial sentences guideline. Below, we share the joint response of the Corston Independent Funders' Coalition.

This month, the Sentencing Council announced new measures for sentencing pregnant women. We welcome the direction of the guidelines, which represent an important step towards a justice system which values the rights and needs of women. And we are delighted to see, subsequently published in latest miscellaneous amendments, the introduction of pregnancy, childbirth and post-natal care as a new mitigating factor in sentencing; and the recognition that all births in prison are high risk.

Further changes and response from the Corston Independent Funders' Coalition

Formed in 2008, the Corston Independent Funders' Coalition (CIFC) is a group of independent funders, including Esmée, working together to influence government policy on the treatment of women in the UK's criminal justice system.

As a CIFC member, we believe the Sentencing Council's new section on 'Female Offenders' recognises and has the potential to be part of realising the vision of Baroness Corston, and indeed the Female Offender Strategy (2018). We're pleased to work with members on a joint response to the Sentencing Council's consultation, which reflect insights and learning from the work of organisations we collectively support - some of whom have been listed below.

See the submission: Consultation on Imposition of community and custodial sentences guideline - joint response by some members of the Corston Independent Funders' Coalition.

We're grateful for the hard work of sector partners, not just for the detailed responses they submitted directly and shared with CIFC, but for all the work they have done over many years to raise the profile and visibility of women's experience of the criminal justice system.

Organisations highlighted in the response include:

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Gender justice

We believe that gender justice requires changes to systems, policy and practice so that everyone's rights are recognised and protected. We want to work with others to ensure that women and girls can live in safety and fulfil their potential, and that transgender and non-binary people’s voices are heard.

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