Reed, Leah Bethan

Reed,  Leah Bethan
Research Topic:
Welsh Womens Imprisonment
Research pathway:
Research Supervisor:
Dr Kirsty Hudson and Dr Alisa Stevens
Supervising school:
School of Social Sciences,
Primary funding source:
ESRC Studentship

Women in the criminal justice system disproportionately face a number particular vulnerabilities; because there are no female prisons in Wales, Welsh women are held at facilities across England and face a distinct set of issues. The need to understand the experiences of Welsh women has become more pronounced amidst the emergence of Welsh-only policies for female offenders in Wales, including the co-produced Ministry of Justice and Welsh Government Female Offending Blueprint in 2019.
The Corston report’s (2007) central argument, that women’s needs are being marginalised within a system designed by men for men, helped establish a consensus around the need for gender-specific approaches yet many of the proposed changes have not been translated into practice. In attempting to recognise the distinct needs of Welsh women within the criminal justice system and implement Corston’s recommendations, the Female Offender Blueprint sets out the Ministry of Justice and Welsh Government’s ambition to transform services for women that are distinct to Wales, including by setting up residential women’s centres, yet has not been comprehensively empirically researched.
The aim of this research is to (i) produce the first in-depth empirical study of women’s imprisonment in Wales, (ii) identify and explore the unique problems facing Welsh women, (iii) analyse the legacy of the Corston Review, assess the progress and current state of the ‘women’s alternatives’ movement, (iv) draw upon research findings to contribute to debates over the effectiveness and future of ‘Welsh-only’ female offender policies and (v) contribute to a growing body of research on criminology and criminal justice in Wales.