95% of the UK’s prison population are men. Since 1997 the Director of the Prison Reform Trust has been a woman. Hmm, how might that have impacted on the Trust’s campaigning?

Just 4,000 of the UK’s 84,000 prison population are women.

The Prison Reform Trust (PRT) is a registered charity, and its Director since 1999 has been Juliet Lyon CBE. As we’d expect, the majority of the staff members are women, including the Deputy Director and Executive Officer. Of the 16 staff members whose gender is clear from their first names, 12 are women http://prisonreformtrust.org.uk/whoweare/staff.

Given that 95% of the country’s prison population are men, you might reasonably expect the Trust’s focus to be on reducing men’s imprisonment. You would, however, be disappointed, as we can see from pieces like this:


PRT even has a Director for Reducing Women’s Imprisonment. On its website the PRT says it believes custodial sentences should be imposed on fewer women.

5 thoughts on “95% of the UK’s prison population are men. Since 1997 the Director of the Prison Reform Trust has been a woman. Hmm, how might that have impacted on the Trust’s campaigning?

  1. I think Diana Davidson very clearly describes the undermining of the legal system by an assumption of moral incapability in adult women. It is indeed a continuation of precisely chivalry of old. But with state enforcement of previously social mores. Ms Davidson’s references to Animal Farm succinctly catch the erosion of legal protections necessary to afford a special status to a favoured “class”. Diana in AVfM

  2. Thanks Peter. The justice system in the UK – and across much of the developed world, from what I gather – has applied this double standard for at least a century, as we’ve reported in many areas. The feminist narrative is this. Men are intrinsically bad/evil so when men do bad/evil things, they’re only being gender-typical. Women aren’t bad/evil so when women do bad/evil things, there must be other explanations – typically mental health issues following abuse by men (the evil ones, after all). Bad/evil women are invariably held to be untypical of their gender.

    When you look at a number of crimes it gets worse. Women will typically get away with wrecking many men’s lives with demonstrably false rape allegations before the justice system will consider charging them with the offence. Paternity fraud (attempted and realised) has long been a criminal offence in the UK. The CSA alone learns of 500+ cases every year – when men dispute women’s claims they’re the biological fathers of individual children – yet not one woman has ever been convicted of the crime in the UK. In many areas (domestic violence and sexual abuse of children come to mind) women are FAR less likely than men to be charged, far less likely to be incarcerated, and if they are incarcerated they’ll serve much lighter sentences, and in much less grim conditions. In the eyes of the law women are held barely more accountable for their actions and inactions than young children. Is it any wonder that many women respond as any class which knows it’s above the law would act?

  3. The concern has to be that many female MPs and columnists have been pushing for women not to go to prison; and to essentially close the women’s prisons anyway. This means that a man and a woman charged with the same crime would have radically-different punishments (i.e. she would get anger management, he would be incarcerated.

  4. Though there may be some influence . To be fair to the PRT it has long campaigned for fewer men prisoners , small local prisons, rehab and tackling homelessness. I think the sex of the staff may be a small factor but I do find the trust consistent in seeing less imprisonment for men as well as women. Frankly the history of the various Prison Reform Charities is one including prominent women showing compassion to male prisoners.
    The real scandals are in the legal profession and our courts.

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