A Home Office study in 2005 revealed that girls were less likely than boys to be involved in offending.
The All Party Parliamentary Group on Women in the Penal System carried out a year-long inquiry and has revealed that since 2008, the above statement has been proven further with the number of girls being arrested each year decreasing, and girls committing violent offences decreasing by 29% from 2006/07 to 2009/10.
The inquiry also suggested that girls are being brought into the penal system who commit crimes when there are welfare issues present such as poverty, substance misuse or domestic violence and abuse. Decisions being made by Local Authorities on how to deal with girls has led to an increase in their contact with criminal justice agencies such as youth offending services. It would suggest that girls that offend are dealt with more severely than boys, making it perhaps more likely that girls will be drawn further into the penal system, leading to poorer outcomes.
The inquiry suggests that a more supportive approach needs to be taken towards girls to resolve issues within the community, leading to fewer arrests for welfare matters such as drunken behaviour. Plus, more appropriate services that can fully support girls and meet their needs are required.
Swain & Co. welcomes any move to support young people and the potential to keep them out of the penal system for minor misdemeanours, particularly where there are welfare issues that need addressing.
We have specialist teams in criminal defence advising and representing clients at all stages, from initial police station detention to trial, and if appropriate, appeal.
We also have a specialist team that work on behalf of prisoners providing expert representation for parole, adjudications, re-categorisation, recall and other areas.
If you need, or have a loved one who needs, criminal defence call our Crime team on 02392 483322 or 24/7 on 07977 519306.
Or if your friend or family member is in prison we can help too. We have specialist teams for Prison Law at all our branches and we provide nationwide service:
02392 483322 (Havant/Portsmouth)
02380 631111 (Southampton)
0208 6929100 (London)
0151 2552286 (Liverpool)