Women in Prison is a unique, women-only organisation that provides gender-specialist support to women affected by the criminal justice system and campaigns to expose the injustice and damage caused to women and their families by imprisonment.
WIP delivers a range of support and advice in women's prisons in England. We can in some cases also meet with women at the gate on the day of her release and continue that engagement in the community.
Women in Prison runs three Women Centres - WomenMatta in Manchester, the Beth Centre in Lambeth and the Women's Support Centre in Woking.
The key to what we do is that our support for women is holistic; our Women Centres are one-stop-shops for women to access all the services they need under one roof. WIP's staff are gender-specialist practitioners, providing support across all the difficulties and barriers commonly experienced by women affected by the criminal justice system - domestic and sexual violence, poor mental and physical health, addiction, homelessness, debt, and unemployment.
WIP's 34 years' experience working directly with women in the system informs our campaigns work. Women in Prison's core campaign is for a radical reduction in the women’s prison population. Women who pose no risk to the public should not be in prison; a custodial sentence should be a last resort. If deemed absolutely necessary, women should be held in small units designed to meet their needs, close to the communities where they live.
We draw on our expertise regarding women affected by the criminal justice system to influence policy-makers, media and the public and raise awareness of the damaging impact prison has on women and their families.
Central to WIP is that we are women-centred, inclusive and non-judgemental approach that includes the proactive recruitment of women who are, or have been in contact with the criminal justice system as paid and voluntary workers.
Women in Prison also works to ensure that women affected by the criminal justice system are informed on any changes that may impact on them and have the chance to share their experiences and opinions. To this end WIP publishes a magazine - Ready, Steady, Go! - that women can access in prison.