Women in Prison supports women at every stage of their journey through the criminal justice system. What we do works – it helps women to make the changes they want in their lives, to take responsibility, build a positive sense of themselves and stop offending. The best measure of our achievements comes from a woman’s own sense of progression.


In Prison

"Please keep in contact regularly. I think a lot of women feel “unworthy.” It’s very important to have help to build some confidence and self worth. It helps when someone sticks around for a while and don't disappear. Some organisations come and go and this feels like you’ve been abandoned, forgotten and not very valuable. I like Women in Prison because they have always been there, right throughout my whole sentence”  - WIP Advice

“I never knew my life could be different, I have been in and out of the nick all my life. I am not young anymore - well 47. I can have my preferred story, I love my preferred story - a flat, a home, a garden and for the first time I get it - I can do it without having a drink. I know my worker is not my friend ‘cause she keeps telling me, but to me she is -  no one has ever stuck by me and helped me even when I have messed it up – this is my new life now and I am keeping it.”  - CARE Project

“I think WIP is a valuable organisation for inmates and my own interaction with WIP has been very positive, it is reassuring that the advisors are not just doing a tick the box experience, but genuinely have a care.”  - WIP Advice

“If I take on board some of the advice given I have hope to survive.”  - WIP Advice


“It’s great to see a friendly face at the gate when your family and everyone in the community is against you.” - BAME Through-the-gate service

In the community

“I don’t think I could have kept motivated for so long while I waited for my rehab place without their help and encouragement and now they are still there, even though I’m doing well, to support my next steps. It feels great to have someone to speak to when I feel wobbly, even if it’s not a massive crisis and it stops me from blowing things out of proportion. I know now that’s where I’ve gone wrong in the past.” - Women’s Support Centre, Surrey

“They’ve just helped me in so many ways I kind of wasn’t expecting, like I can really talk to people now, you know look them in the eye and speak up and open up… I’m even helping other women out with that now.”  - WomenMATTA

The impact of our Through-the-gate specialist mental health service was noted in the Prison Inspectorate’s 2010 report on HMP Holloway:

“The community mental health team (CMHT) had a Women in Prison worker who met women known to the CMHT on release and escorted them to appointments in the community… Women with mental health issues were given excellent continuity of care on release.”


  • 81% of women accessing our in prison advice service reported feeling less stressed, 90% reported feeling more in control after receiving advice and support.*
  • Of the 43 women who received intensive one-to-one support from the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Through the Gate service, only one had re-offended in the six months after receiving support - this is a re-offending rate of just 2%.
  • 80% of the mothers accessing parenting support reported feeling less stressed and more confident about their situation as a result of their engagement with the parenting service. Specifically, they valued gaining a clearer knowledge of child protection proceedings and a better understanding of their rights and responsibilities as a parent.**
  • Of the 27 women accessing parenting support service in the community, not a single woman re-offended or breached her license conditions within the year period - this is a zero re-offending rate.**
  • 93% of the women that accessed the Women’s Support Centre, Surrey (May 2010-September 2011) presented substance misuse issues. Of these, only 29% were engaged with specialist substance misuse services. Through intense one-to-one support and collaborative work, a further 58% engaged with drug and alcohol services within three months.


*SOURCE: Women Prisoners Advice and Information Service Evaluation
**SOURCE: Women in Prison Internal Monitoring Data