W PbyR Revised submission 12 05 28.pdf (312.13 kB)
Download file

Providing for women offenders: the risks of adopting a payment by results approach

Download (312.13 kB)
journal contribution
posted on 08.03.2013, 14:37 by Loraine Gelsthorpe, Carol Hedderman
While the evidence base for what works with male offenders is imperfect, that for women is even more limited. This reflects the general tendency in penal policy and practice and in criminological research to neglect women who offend either because it is assumed that what works for men will work for women, or because their small numbers lead to women being ignored entirely. In this article, the emerging evidence on women is reviewed in order to consider what we now know about women’s needs and about best practice in responding to those needs. The extent to which this evidence provides a sufficiently robust and definitive base for the development of a criminal justice ’market’ is then considered in relation to the four main potential benefits claimed for a payment by results approach: greater efficiency; greater innovation; reduced cost; and a broader range of services. The results suggest that a number of important challenges may stand in the way of such benefits being realized in practice in relation to promoting and sustaining community based services for women. These include: defining, estimating and measuring impact; achieving a level of change which is sufficient to attract suppliers; and an inability to value outcomes and to identify and allocate benefits.



Probation Journal, 2012, 59 (4), pp. 374-390

Author affiliation

/Organisation/COLLEGE OF SOCIAL SCIENCE/Department of Criminology


AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Published in

Probation Journal







Copyright date


Available date


Publisher version