Most women are jailed due to the men in their lives - Vicky Pryce

(61 Posts)
kim147 Mon 14-Oct-13 13:47:28

www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-24516626

Talking about some of the reasons women end up in jail and their life stories and the way there were treated by men that ended up with them being jailed.

What do people think?

runningonwillpower Mon 14-Oct-13 15:25:11

Vicky Pryce was the author of her own misfortune as far as her prison sentence goes - just how did she imagine that one would pan out?

kim147 Mon 14-Oct-13 15:27:02

Some stats:

www.womeninprison.org.uk/statistics.php

One in four women in prison has spent time in local authority care as a child.
Nearly 40% of women in prison left school before the age of 16 years, almost one in 10 were aged 13 or younger.
30% of women were permanently excluded from school.
Over half the women in prison report having suffered domestic violence and one in three has experienced sexual abuse.
19% of women were not in permanent accommodation before entering custody and 10% of women were sleeping rough.

Women account for 47% of all incidents of self harm.
30% of women (as compared to 10% of men) have had a previous psychiatric admission before they come into prison.
Of all the women who are sent to prison, 37% say they have attempted suicide at some time in their life. 51% have severe and enduring mental illness, 47% a major depressive disorder, 6% psychosis and 3% schizophrenia.

83% of women in prison stated that they had long-standing illness, compared with 32% of the general female population. 73% were on medication on arrival at prison – mainly benzodiazepines (42%), methadone (36%), antidepressants (14%), and sleeping pills (10%).

Women prisoners are subject to higher rates of disciplinary proceedings than men. According to the Ministry of Justice, “women may be less able (due for example to mental health issues) to conform to prison rules.”

Women serve shorter prison sentences than men and for less serious offences. In the 12 months ending June 2011, 59% of women entering prison under sentence serve sentences of up to and including six months, compared with 48% of men. Theft and handling was by far the most common offence, accounting for 34% of sentenced receptions.

Trills Mon 14-Oct-13 15:28:49

The stats are interesting but without the comparable stats about men we don't know if this is specific to women in prison or if it says something simply about people in prison.

kim147 Mon 14-Oct-13 15:30:38

I'm sure some are similar. Especially being in care.

scallopsrgreat Mon 14-Oct-13 16:06:14

Why do we need to compare to men? Surely the fact that women in prison are survivors of abuse is a problem in its own right? Why can't that be tackled as it is?

78bunion Mon 14-Oct-13 16:06:50

It may well be right although we do have to take responsibilty for ourselves. In her case I haev never blamed her. Had her husband chosen to stick to his marriage vows none of this would have happened. Had he chosen not to present her with - take my points or ruin my career as I have already lied - the situation would not have arisen. He of course is the real loser in all this as he has ruined his relationships with his children for life because of his misconduct and he deserves it.

youretoastmildred Mon 14-Oct-13 16:15:33

we are all part of complex social networks in which we are influenced by others all the time. In these networks very often men hold the power and the status. It is rare for women to find that they are in thrall to other women for their security or material well being or whatever, just because it is rare for people to find themselves in situations where women are running the show

having said that, this particular case is just ew. this reinforces the cynical part of me that thinks that as a class politicians are in general on the edge of crookery and that their spouses and other close associates basically understand and accept this. She did as she was asked because it was part of a world view she had accepted, that her husband was not one of the little people and should not be treated as such. then she got angry and tried to have it both ways - that he had committed a crime but not her - and it backfired and still she won't take responsibility for that double standard. The whole thing is horrible and comes from a position of great privilege, that is attempting (and succeeding for a while) in being above the law. Making this into an underdog's cri de coeur is erm not really facing up to the true facts of her situation to say the least.

Trills Mon 14-Oct-13 16:20:26

I wasn't referring to abuse, I was referring to kim's stats about mental illness and care-leavers (and others).

If female care-leavers are more vulnerable to ending up in prison than male care-leavers, then that's a different problem to (and different action needs to be taken) compared to if care-leavers in general were more likely to end up in prison than those who had not been in care as a child.

We need to understand what the problem is in order to help it.

Are we specifically failing women who were in care as children, or are we failing all care-leavers?

Trills Mon 14-Oct-13 16:21:23

I agree with LRD's point that I suspect the majority of men in prison are also there because of men.

scallopsrgreat Mon 14-Oct-13 16:44:11

Well from the Bromley Briefing (Nov 2012) which is linked from that page (and I thought that those stats were derived from but there seems to be a couple of discrepancies):

Taken into care as a child:
24% (31% for women, 24% for men) this compares to 2% of the general population
Experienced abuse as a child:
29% (53% for women, 27% for men)
Observed violence in the home as a child:
41% (50% for women, 40% for men
Identified as suffering from both anxiety and depression:
25% (49% for women, 23% for men), this compares to 15% of the general population who are estimated to be suffering from different types of anxiety and depression

and one that wasn't on kim's list but I found shocking:

Only 9% of children whose mothers are in prison are cared for by their fathers in their mothers’ absence.

scallopsrgreat Mon 14-Oct-13 16:48:36

That last stat ties in with these stats:

28% of women in prison had no previous convictions – more than double the figure for men (13%).
13% of women serving sentences of under 12months had no previous convictions, compared with only 8% of men.

Women are more likely to be put in prison for first offences because they can't do alternatives such as community service due to childcare responsiblities. So children get put in care whilst their mothers go to prison.

Trills Mon 14-Oct-13 17:10:32

Thanks for digging those out.

I'd like to see the stats in the other direction as well - not just "what % of women in prison have depression" but also "what % of women who have depression end up in prison" if you see what I mean, but it does look as if there's a differential there.

Only 9% of children whose mothers are in prison are cared for by their fathers in their mothers’ absence.

This one ties in very well with the title of the thread. If we believe the statement in the title to be true, then:
When a man is in prison, it's not "due to" the woman in his life, so it's fine for her to look after the children
When a woman is in prison, it is "due to" the man in her life, so he is either in prison too or is generally not fit to look after the children.

Beatrixparty Mon 14-Oct-13 17:23:57

scallopsrgreat

Women are more likely to be put in prison for first offences because they can't do alternatives such as community service due to childcare responsiblities. So children get put in care whilst their mothers go to prison.

If really doubt this is true. I have several years of experience of working in magistrates court. Magistrates are generally loath to sentence women into custody. I do not recall seeing a pre-sentence report recommending custody for the above reasons.

One has to be careful drawing inferences from statistics. The above fact about re: no previous convictions, might be true, but it might be for different reasons. Male pattern of offending often starts with petty crime such as driving offences, minor public order act offences, minor assaults arising from fights in pubs, streets etc. Whereas as women don't in pick up such convictions large numbers. Police often give women warnings in such circumstances rather than arresting / charging them - often the facts aren't so serious. So womens' profile are a lot different - I think too (from memory) a significant proportion of those women that do end up getting a custodial sentence are the drug mules from abroad - any previous convictions they might have don't 'follow' them into Court.

scallopsrgreat Mon 14-Oct-13 21:29:28

I didn't actually infer that from those stats Beatrixparty I got that from Eve was framed (via memory and paraphrased because I didn't have it in front of me).

3 times as many women as men are jailed for their first offence. I am sure you are right that there are a range of reasons but one of the significant reasons she gives is:

"Because their lack of resources make financial penalties unsuitable and because there are so few community programmes suitable for women, female offenders end up in prison despite the often trivial nature of their offending."

"Women in Prison report that ironically sometimes receive harsher sentences than men because they are mothers. They maybe deemed unsuitable for community service because they have young children, but then the courts, unable or unwilling to come up with an alternative punishment, send them to jail."

Darkesteyes Mon 14-Oct-13 22:57:12

I wonder how many single mums are in prison due to non payment of things like the TV licence due to the financial abuse of an ex who wont pay Child Support.

ScaryFucker Mon 14-Oct-13 23:01:19

Gut reaction ? I think I agree with Ms Pryce on that particular point.

Beatrixparty Tue 15-Oct-13 09:22:58

Darkesteyes

Do you mean, where the imprisonment is solely for a failure to pay the fine (rather than payment of the licence itself - sorry to be so pedantic) and not for other fines too (they very often get bundled together don't they) - and where the sentencing magistrates at the specialist fines court (no doubt about it that each of those magistrates will be a MENZ) have determinedly ignored the legal test as to whether or not such a failure is a 'wilful refusal' to pay, rather than an inabilty to pay. (you will be aware that it is only upon a finding of wilful refusal to pay a fine, that allows a court to impose a custodial sentence - even a suspended one.). My first thought was....well i'm sure that you wouldn't be happy with my first thoughts

so I'd revise my answer to hundreds if not thousands, with no chance of early release - with a possibility - nay likelihood - of deportation to Australia (not one of the nice parts either) upon eventual release.

So there we are - hundreds if not thousands.

Anniegetyourgun Tue 15-Oct-13 16:59:27

<wonders who Beatrixparty is and what she has been taking>

NotDead Tue 15-Oct-13 17:21:14

ptobably not best to rake up too much of a debate here. Sentences for women offence by offence, are a third that of men with women also far less likely to recieve a custodial senrence in the first place.

The other side of this is that women receiving long prison sentences are likely to have committed not only more serious crimes, but also have given the courts reason to be given longer sentences.

scallopsrgreat Tue 15-Oct-13 23:29:03

Shoplifting accounts for a third of women in prison. Shoplifting.

scallopsrgreat Tue 15-Oct-13 23:30:16

but also have given the courts reason to be given longer sentences. I am sure they have. After all their behaviour as victims also accounts for lesser sentences for men too.

VerySmallSqueak Tue 15-Oct-13 23:39:26

It's my belief that many women end up in prison because of poverty.

Sthingmustbescaringthemaway Tue 15-Oct-13 23:57:14

Exactly what proportion of women, on gaining release, are able to capitalize on their imprisonment by feeding the British media's hunger for the pontifications of the formerly great and good?

And are they able to access this ladder back to their former status to the same degree as a comparable group of men?

BillyBanter Wed 16-Oct-13 00:16:35

Looking at those stats it suggests to me that the circs that make them more likely to spend time in prison are the same circs that make them more likely to be in unhealthy relationships.

There is always a reason someone ends up in jail. I would expect there to be some sort of correlation between abusive relationships and prison time but correlation does not equal causation.

Beatrixparty Wed 16-Oct-13 09:07:07

Scallopsgreat

Shoplifting accounts for a third of women in prison. Shoplifting.

Ok - imagine you are a magistrate sentencing a woman before you for shoplifting. What sentence would you impose ?

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now