PRISONS Women more likely to end up inside

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The Independent Online
The theory that more women are becoming involved in crime was dismissed yesterday in a report by the National Association of Probation Officers. The report shows there has been no discernible increase in female crime but a far harsher sentencing climate.

Harry Fletcher, NAPO assistant general secretary, said: "The number of women convicted of serious offences has fallen during the last five years by 16 per cent, but the female prison population increased by a staggering 76 per cent."

The report casts doubt on the potential effectiveness of the upsurge in incarceration. An analysis of more than 500 women in closed jails and 200 in hostels since the beginning of the year shows that offending was related to drug or alcohol abuse in 84 per cent of cases. Patricia Wynn Davies