Commissioner welcomes announcement of first residential women’s centre

6th May 2020

The Police and Crime Commissioner for Gwent, Jeff Cuthbert, has welcomed the announcement from Justice Minister Lucy Frazer that Wales has been chosen to house the UK government’s first residential women’s centre.

Once established, it will provide an alternative to custody that is focused on rehabilitation for women with complex needs who are convicted of low-level crime.

Mr Cuthbert said: “I am delighted to hear that the first residential women’s centre will be located in Wales. There is currently no women’s prison in Wales, which we already know is a significant issue for family contact and support and this can have devastating impacts not only for the women themselves but children also.

“This announcement is ground-breaking and will enable families to maintain valuable contact whilst in the criminal justice system. It will help offenders gain the support and rehabilitation they need, by tackling the root causes of offending services such as substance misuse and mental health problems. It will help divert women away from criminality and out of prison wherever possible.

“The centre will provide support vital support for women who are experiencing domestic abuse and aid their transition from the centre to life back in their communities.”

The Ministry of Justice will work with the Welsh Government and partners in Wales to identify a provider and site, with the aim of opening the centre by the end of 2021.

The allocation of £2.5million of funding will involve the directors of each regional probation area and they will assess which types of service are most needed.

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