A profile of female offenders within the Lothian and Borders

Summary

Understanding the characteristics and needs of women in the criminal justice system is a first step towards the development of effective interventions and services that can divert female offenders from imprisonment and support their desistance from crime. This study, funded by the Lothian and Borders Community Justice Authority, described and analysed the characteristics and needs of women involved in the Criminal Justice system in Lothian and Borders during a twelve month period. This involved the analysis of quantitative data pertaining to women and interviews with practitioners and policy makers about the issues surrounding women offenders. The aim was to identify the profile of women offenders in Lothian and Borders, to better understand the journeys that such women make through the system, and how issues relating to their characteristics and lifestyles impact on those journeys, in order to inform the development of consistent, compatible and effective provision for women offenders across the five local authority areas.