Understanding the drivers of the female prison population in Scotland

Summary

SCCJR are undertaking some analysis aimed at identifying factors that may have contributed to the increased use of female imprisonment in Scotland. The number of women imprisoned in Scotland has risen dramatically over the last 10-15 years (as it has done in other western jurisdictions) prompting questions as to the factors that have brought about this change. In seeking to explore this issue attention needs to focus on explanations related to offending (for example, more women committing more serious crime) alongside systemic factors (for example, changes in sentencing powers, increasing punitiveness among sentencers).  This project will consist of analysis of statistical data, reviews of existing data and literature and interviews with key stakeholders, including sentencers.   This work has been requested by the Scottish Government and will run from November 2009 – December 2010.