Women in Prison - The Real Story
Women lifers represent only 3% of the total lifer population which was 4540 in 2000. Just over 80% of female lifers have been convicted of murder. The remainder have been convicted of manslaughter, attempted homicide, other violent offences and arson. Lifers are only released after they have served their tariff (the amount of time the judge and the Home Secretary agree is necessary as punishment for the offence) and then been assessed as safe for release by the Parole Board. Some lifers spend many years in prison after their tariff is served because the Parole Board believes they still pose too much of a threat to public safety. Once released lifers are supervised for years by the Probation Service and they can be recalled to prison if their behaviour gives cause for concern at any time for the rest of their lives.
For further information on the issues covered in this section, please visit The Centre for Crime and Justice Studies website.