Letter: Women in custody

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Indy Lifestyle Online
From Mr H. A. Thomas Sir: The family problems arising from the remand of women into custody (Letters, 25 January) can often be reduced substantially by the appropriate use of bail hostels which cater for women.

These facilities, however, are thin on the ground -for example, there are only two bail beds for women in the whole of Wales. Such a situation clearly mitigates against their use as a secure environment and as an opportunity for mothers to keep in effective contact with their children, save in the areas where such bail facilities actually exist. Access to bail hostel facilities for men in similar positions is much more localised and available and it is regrettable that women are disadvantaged in the present set of arrangements.

What is required is a strategy for women in the remand system which recognises their particular family needs, together with special funding which would enable local developments to take place.

Yours faithfully, H. A THOMAS Chief Probation Officer North Wales Probation Service Colwyn Bay, Clwyd