We think it is shocking that only 1 in 10 women find employment when they leave prison. The statistics and stories about what happens to some women and their families after prison are devastating. Without a job and a purpose, many women re-offend and find themselves back behind bars - 48% to be exact. That's nearly half. We want to help women break the devastating cycle of imprisonment and support women into meaningful employment. Because we believe every woman deserves a second chance. 




1 in 4 women in prison have experienced domestic violence

1 in 9 women leave prison with no job to go to


No one gave me a chance. I just wanted to start again and make a fresh start but I was treated like dirt.”

Shelia* (39 years)

“There is very little help in prison to support me to make a clean break. I really needed to make a change for me and my children. ”

Paula* (29 years)

"I took drugs. I'm clean now. But all people see is an ex-drug addict. I will never get a job because employers will not take a chance"

Chantelle* (42 years)




Download our women in prison infographic for more information.

There were 3826 women in prison in England in 2016.

[Source: House of Commons Library July 2016]

In 2015/16, a quarter (26%) of women reported having experienced some form of domestic abuse at some point in their adult life.

[Source: Ministry of Justice, Nov 2016]

41% of female offenders were given sentences of six months or less compared with 31% of male offenders.

[Source: Ministry of Justice, Nov 2016]

Between 24% and 31% of all female offenders were estimated to have one or more child dependents. Most had two children.

[Source: Ministry of Justice, Nov 2016]

48% (almost half) of women leaving prison are reconvicted within one year.

[Source: Ministry of Justice (2014) Women and the Criminal Justice System, London: Ministry of Justice as quoted by Prison Reform Trust Bromley Briefings]  

Nearly half of women in prison report having committed offences to support someone else’s drug use.

[Source: Ofsted (2015) The Annual Report of Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Education, Children’s Services and Skills 2014/15, Manchester: Ofsted. As quoted by Prison Reform Trust Bromley Briefings]  

Fewer than 1 in 10 women enter employment on release.

[Source: Ministry of Justice (2013) NOMS Offender equalities annual report 2012–13, London: Ministry of Justice. As quoted by Prison Reform Trust Bromley Briefings] 

Only 12% of employers surveyed said they had employed somebody with a criminal record in the past three years. One in five employers said they either did or were likely to exclude them from the recruitment process

[Source: Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (2010) Disadvantaged Groups in the Labour Market, London: CIPD as quoted in Bromley Briefings]

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