Sentencing Women: An Analysis of Recent Trends
chapterposted on 29.04.2015, 08:44 by Rebecca Barnes, Carol Hedderman
From Introduction: This chapter analyses changes in the sentencing of women between 2000 and 2012. We update an earlier analysis conducted by Hedderman (2004) which sought to establish why the number of women going to prison increased so steeply between 1992 and 2000. Since 2000, there have been important changes in sentencing policies and government responses to women offenders. Media portrayals have also shifted to emphasise a ‘ladette’ culture of female drinking, anti-social behaviour and violence. This chapter reflects on the consequences of these changes and considers how the sentencing of women has changed since 2000, including the use of custody and new sentences such as suspended sentence orders. It examines how far Labour's policy of diverting women from custody during its second term of office fed through into court practice; and it assesses what has happened since the Conservative-Liberal Democrat Coalition took power.