Bishops push for better support for women released from prison.

Published: October 10, 2019

Bishop Rachel with Bishop Christine of NewcastleThe Bishop of Gloucester and the Bishop of Newcastle hosted an event in the House of Commons to highlight the importance of finding suitable accommodation for women released from prison.

The event, supported by the Church Commissioners and Dame Caroline Spelman MP, brought together people and organisations from across the country who work with women in prison, in the community through Women’s Centres, housing providers and MPs. The event showcased powerful examples of how people are working to drive change for disadvantaged women.

Read more about our work in the Justice System

Bishop Rachel said, “This event comes during a turbulent time in parliament and so we want to help refocus the emphasis back to the most vulnerable and disadvantaged people in our country, who may feel forgotten and whose voices are often not heard in our national conversation. I hope that people were challenged to take action in ways that will help provide a different path for some women in the justice system, giving them opportunities to flourish.”

Bishop Christine said, “We know from statistics that many women lose their homes while in custody and 60% of women prisoners may not have homes to go to on release. Safe, secure housing is crucial in breaking the cycle of offending and the harm it causes to our communities, to the women involved and to their families. My hope is that this event will play its part in raising such an important issue and provide opportunities for housing providers and organisations working with disadvantaged women to find more solutions to this problem.”

Speakers included Gabrielle Lee, Governor at HMP Low Newton in County Durham, Caroline Walker, Head of Community at Cheltenham Borough Homes and Laura Seebohm from Changing Lives. We also had the privilege of hearing a personal story from Rachel who had experienced first hand the trauma of prison and losing her home and family.

 

This event took place in Prisons Week (13th – 19th October), when Christians from across denominations raise awareness and pray for all those affected by prisons and criminal justice.

Read more about our work in the Justice System

Photos from the event:

Bishop Rachel of Gloucester, Bishop Christine of Newcastle

Bishop Rachel with Bishop Christine of Newcastle

For more information contact:
Lucy Taylor, Director of Communications and Engagement, Diocese of Gloucester, 01452 835515, 07811 174125,

Roderick Stuart, Head of Communications, Diocese of Newcastle, 0191 270 4139, 07825 777386

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