Justice for Women: Sentencing

National Committee member Maggie Lennon has been involved in our work on women's justice since its inception.  Here, she outlines current issues being discussed (June 2019) and asks important questions about the lack on media coverage for voiceless women.




You would have to have been on the dark side of the moon recently not to realise that the topic of women’s sentencing and treatment of women in the criminal justice system in Scotland is suddenly big news….again.  It’s never of course NOT been big news for Women for Independence. 

Justice for Women has been a corner stone of our campaigning for years. From our key role in helping stop the building of the so called “super prison” under Michael Mathieson’s watch, to the launch of Justice Watch, a citizens’ witness programme regarding the reality for women in the criminal justice system.

Its news again for two reasons.  Firstly there has been feet of column inches devoted to the rights and wrongs of sentencing in the case in which WFI have recently been involved.  Secondly, a public consultation has just been announced on the guidance for sentencing to make it more transparent and thereby stop some of the speculation that surrounds high profile cases.

While WFI are pleased that the issues we have been concerned with are back in the public arena and are probably being discussed in a pub close to you, we have to ask why it’s taken so long for some in the media to take up our challenge. 

Where are the columns defending the vulnerable women in prison, the women with no voice, no profile and no access to expensive lawyers?

Actually I DID try to ask Kevin McKenna that on twitter but he blocked me….before he answered.

So Women for Independence will be redoubling our efforts to make a plea for vulnerable women, women mired in poverty and voiceless women in prison, where custodial sentences prove no benefit to society whatsoever.  We will also be pushing for equity of treatment, and calling it out when we find it is not there. To that end we have just submitted a whole raft of FOI requests. We’ll keep you posted.

In the meantime we thought it was timely to remind you about just how much we have done and what we have written about. Below you will find a link to all our relevant blogs in one easy place. Women for Justice-Justice for Women. Join us in our fight.


Links To Blogs

Women for Justice : Justice for Women

Justice Watch Update August 2016

Justice Watch - Report From the Frontline!

Justice Watch Week Two Blog

Justice Watch Launch Day in Edinburgh

Justice Watch - Sara Sheridan Reports from Edinburgh Sheriff Court

New Prisons? Old Wine in New Bottles

Justice Watch Update January 2016

Response to Scottish Govt Consultation on Short Sentences

Women for Justice, Justice for Women!

A Letter to Michael Matheson, Justice Minister

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