Female prisoners

AN MP has hit out after Government said it is acceptable that men and women prisoners are treated differently.

Shipley MP Philip said crime was gender neutral and criminals should be treated the same regardless of gender, sexual orientation, race or religion.

He said: “For a Government minister to say we need a different approach to women in our prisons is ridiculous and absolutely appalling. I do not think any right-minded person who is a victim of crime will expect the criminal to be treated differently because they are a woman.

“It is claimed that women do not have to wear uniform because it affects their self-esteem, but boys and girls have to wear school uniform, and men and women in the workplace have to wear uniforms so why should female prisoners be treated so differently?”

As it stands men must wear a uniform unless they earn privileges to change into their own clothing, but women are allowed to wear their clothes.

Speaking in the Commons in response to the Shipley MP, Justice Minister Phillip Lee said: “Women are twice as likely to report abuse as a child, more likely to be primary or sole carers to their children, they are more likely to display signs of mental health problems and indeed past class A drug use. I think it is important we have a gender specific approach to women and if that involves different uniforms then so be it.”

Government previously claimed the impact of prison was “very different” for men and women.

Previously parliamentary questions by Mr Davies revealed women across West Yorkshire are handed shorter sentences than men for the same crime.