‘Support needed for dependents of women in custody’ – Ritchie

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Wednesday, December 23rd, 2015
SDLP MP for South Down, Margaret Ritchie, has questioned the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Ministry of Justice, Caroline Dinenage MP, on the support in place for the dependents of women in custody. Margaret RitchieSpeaking to Newry Times, Ritchie said, “There are many issues surrounding the number of women held in custody and the length of sentences. “Whilst not all of these issues relate to women’s status as carers, one major problem is the position that the dependents of these women are left in. Women are more likely to be both the providers and recipients of care and many women held in custody are the carers of children. “The charity, Women in Prison, estimates that there are 20,000 children in the UK with mothers in prison. These children can end up in care or miles away from their home. The psychological and emotional impact of this experience can be profound. She added, “I used the opportunity to question the Parliamentary Under-Secretary on the support this Government is providing these children. Ultimately, the causes of women’s crimes need to be tackled in order to protect them, to protect society and to protect the children that may suffer as a result of such custodial sentences.”
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