**event 27th November 2017**

Creating A Diversion – ending unnecessary imprisonment and punishment of women in the criminal justice system in Scotland

This is an event which aims to discuss the changes which will succeed in reducing the number of women in prison in Scotland by promoting the use of diversion at every possible point in the current Scottish criminal justice pathway. The event will also look at how best to actively promote community-based solutions to women’s problems BEFORE imprisonment.

This event is being organised by Scottish Working Group on Women Offenders/ Prison Reform Trust Scotland, and by WFI Justice for Women members, and supported by Community Justice Scotland. The report of the year-long  Justice Watch initiative will be launched at the event.

All the speakers and delegates will be drawn from women with knowledge and experience of the criminal justice system as it affects women – we want to involve women who have lived experience, women working in criminal justice and in relevant areas of health, law, judiciary, housing, academia and campaign groups.

Now that the Scottish Government has committed to extending the presumption against the use of short sentences to 12 months we want to look at not only the opportunities created for resource transfer, but also the danger of promoting community justice options over and above diversion from the criminal justice system altogether.  We don’t want to see an increase in the numbers of women drawn into penal measures ‘for their own good’, but rather a decrease in the numbers drawn in and effective help offered everywhere else.

We aim for the day to achieve a consensus about the best ways forward and to agree ways that success should be measured and how the criminal justice system might hold itself and be held accountable.

This is a free event. Register here



SWGWO was established at the start of 2011 and comprises a group of organisations and individuals concerned with all issues surrounding women’s offending in Scotland. The group wishes to see true equality for all women across the criminal justice system, and to sharpen the focus of policy makers on those women with mental health and learning disabilities and those women from a background of sexual abuse, addiction and substance misuse, as well as support for their families. The group would ultimately like to see that these women and their families are supported to move away from the criminal justice system towards a healthier future.


In particular the group’s aims are:


  • to address the issues of why women offend;


  • to ensure that the appropriate support is given to women offenders and their families;


  • to work to reduce the numbers of women imprisoned;


  • to reduce the numbers of women throughout the criminal justice system.


To contact SWGWO, please email the administrator on: scotworkinggroup@gmail.com


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