The Griffins Society researches and promotes effective practice in working with women who are in prison or subject to criminal justice interventions in the community.

Applications are now open for the 2015-16 fellowships - the deadline for applications is Noon 22nd MAY 2015, with interviews for those short-listed on 8th June 2015:

The Society is pleased to announce that we are now inviting applications for the 2015-16 society fellowships.

Please e-mail the society if you wish to receive more information and an application form (research@thegriffinssociety.org) or, alternatively:

For a copy of the advert for this year's programme, please click here

For a copy of the application form please click here

For a copy of the notes on how to apply, please click here.



News Archive

Publication of the Griffins Research Fellowship Papers for 2012-13:

The Society is pleased to announce the publication of the final research papers and executive summaries for the 2012-13 fellowships:

Research Paper 2013.01: 'Missing Voices: why women engage with, or withdraw from, community sentences', by Sue Jordan (click here to download the full report) (pdf 617kb) to download the Executive Summary, click here (pdf 201kb)

Research Paper 2013.02: 'Restorative Justice: Female Offenders in Restorative Justice Conferences', by Rosie Miles (click here to download the full report) (pdf 488kb) to download the Executive Summary, click here (pdf 200kb)

Applications now being invited for the 2014-15 Griffins Fellowship, and we are offering a second opportunity to apply for the Griffins-LankellyChase specialist fellowship on, 'women or girls with multiple needs at risk of offending'. This round of applications is closed. A new round of fellowship applications will be sought in early 2015 for the 2015-16 Griffins Fellowships.

If you are interested in applying for either fellowship, click on the 'Fellowship Programme' button.

The deadline for applications to either fellowship is: NOON FRIDAY 23RD MAY 2014

Final Fellowship Report for 2011-12 Published

The Society is pleased to announce the publication of the final report for the 2011-12 fellowships:

Research Paper 2012.03:'Sentencing Women: considering the factors that influence decision-making - interviews with sentencers and probation officers', by Matina Marougka (click here to download the full report) (pdf 564kb)

A New Academic Partner for the Griffins Society

The Society is delighted to announce that from 2014 it will be working with a new academic partner, The Institute of Criminology, University of Cambridge. The Society has worked with the Mannheim Centre for Criminology at the London School of Economics for over ten years, and as the Director of Griffins, Chris Leeson commented,

'The LSE is where the research fellowship was first established and over 30 fellows have been given the opportunity by the Society to contribute to the body of knowledge on women and their treatment in the Criminal Justice System and a number of their reports have had a lasting influence on policy and practice. The partnership with the LSE was central to that success, but the time had come for Griffins to move on and the relationship with Cambridge marks the start of a new and exiting chapter in the history of the Society.'

The LankellyChase Foundation is to partner the Griffins Society for the 2014 fellowship

In a new development, the Society will be running a series of fellowships partnered with different organisations. In this first year, it is the LankellyChase Foundation, known for their work in bringing about change to transform the quality of life of people who face severe and multiple disadvantage, who are joining forces with the Society to deliver the 2014 Griffins-LankellyChase Fellowship.

A New Approach and a call for proposals: for this first 'partnered' fellowship, the Society is calling for proposals relating specifically to, Women or girls with multiple needs who are at risk of offending.

For those criminal justice practitioners interested in applying for the 2014 Griffins-LankellyChase Fellowship, please e-mail 'research@thegriffinssociety.org' to express an interest and to download an application form, click here.

The deadline for completed applications is Noon, Monday 16 December 2013. Short-listed applicants will be interviewed in Cambridge at the Institute of Criminology on Tuesday 7th January 2014.

Please note that in a change to past practice, this fellowship will run the 2014 calendar year and will start in January 2014.


Fellowship research reports for 2011-12 now published.

We are pleased to announce the publication of two reports from the 20110-12 fellowship programme:

Research Paper 2012.01:'Is there a difference in the perception of risk: between IPP prisoners and members of the parole board', by Dawn McAleenan (click here to download the full report and here for the executive summary) (pdf 732kb and 200kb respectively), and

Research Paper 2012.02: 'Moving forward: empowering women to desist from offending - exploring how women experience empowerment, compliance and desistance during enforced contact with a pwmen's centre and probation', by Shelly-Ann McDermott (click here to download the full report and here for the executive summary) (pdf 1.5MB and 227kb respectively)

Delayed Fellowship research report for 2009-10 also now published.

We are delighted that we are able to publish a second report from the 2009-10 fellowship year::

Research Paper 2010.02: 'What judges think about prostitution' - Assessing the considerations and measures employed by members of the judiciary for sentencing women who sell sex', by Helen Atkins (click here to download the full report and here for the executive summary) (pdf 678kb and 213kb respectively)

Two new fellows appointed for the 2012-13 Fellowship Programme.

We are delighted to announce the appointment of two fellows to the 2012-13 fellowship programme - Sue Jordan and Rosie Miles. Sue will be looking at the issue of breach and women offenders and Rosie will be looking at adult women offenders and their engagement with restorative justice. They are due to start their respective research projects this Autumn 2012.

Fellowship research report for 2009-10 is published

We are very pleased to finally be able to announce the delayed publication of a Griffins Fellowship report from the 2009-10 Griffins Society Fellowship Programme by Elizabeth Owens:

Research Paper 2010.01: 'Exploring the experiences of Minority Ethnic Women in Resettlement: what role, if any, does ethnic culture play in the resettlement of Black (African-Caribbean) women offendersin the UK?', by Elizabeth Owens.(Click here to download the full report) (pdf 363kb).

Fellowship research reports for 2010-11 now published

We are pleased to announce the publication of two new reports from the 2010-11 Griffins Society Fellowship Programme:

Research Paper 2011.01: 'Score, smoke, back on the beat: an exploration of the impact of homelessness on exiting street sex working in Manchester', by Louise Sandwith (click here to download) (pdf 459kb), and

Research Paper 2011.02: 'Seeing differently:working with girls affected by gangs', by Jessica Southgate. Click here to download the full report (pdf 477kb), click here to download the Executive Summary (177kb).

Launch of the Fellowship Programe for 2012-13.

We are pleased to announce that we are now inviting applications for the 2012-13 Griffins Fellowship Programme. Click here for an advert about the programme (PDF 900kb).

If you are interested in applying to become a fellow, please click on the left-hand link for the programme.



New Manager for the Griffins Fellowship Programme appointed

The Griffins Society is delighted to announce the appointment of Christine Leeson as the Fellowship Programme Manager. Chris can be contacted on email: chris.leeson@thegriffinssociety.org

Please note that the Griffins Society office at the Claremont Building, 24-27 White Lion Street, London N1 9PD will close on 12 November 2010 so please do not send correspondence to this address. The telephone line will also be discontinued from that date. The society's trustees can be contacted by e-mail.

New directory planned of specialist training services for women involved in the criminal justice system

NOMS have commissioned research on the availability of specialist training for probation and other statutory sector staff who work with women offenders. They are particularly interested in training related to working with sex workers, women with mental health needs, self-harm, substance abuse; and generic 'awareness raising' about working with women. The aim is to compile a directory of training providers who are competent to deliver specialist courses on these topics. Voluntary sector, social enterprise companies and the private sector are welcome to provide information with a view to inclusion in the directory. Please contact Lynne Laidlaw at Sector Insights by phone at 07966 494393 or by e-mail if you would like your organisation to be considered for inclusion in the new directory.

HM Inspectorate of Prisons thematic report about women's prisons published

HM Inspectorate of Prisons has published a thematic report on women in prison. It draws together findings from inspections of all fourteen women's prisons, comparing results of inspections carried out during 2006-2008 with inspections completed in 2003-2005. The report contains good and bad news: there have been improvements in most women's prisons and none were assessed as performing poorly in any of the healthy prisons tests. Unsurprisingly, HMIP finds that women do much better in open or semi-open prisons, observing that recently, the two prisons that were semi-open when inspected have since become closed prisons. However, serious concerns were expressed about the extent of self-harm. Inadequate legal, bail information and employment services were noted; as well as the lack of sentence planning for women serving less than 12 months. The report comments on a lack of national strategic direction for women's prisons that are still very much part of a male-dominated prison estate.

You can download a copy of the thematic report from the HMIP web site here.

Determining the extent of the women's prison population

Professor Carol Hedderman, Special Advisor to the Griffins Society Research Fellowships Programme, spoke at a recent conference organised by the Corston Independent Funders' Coalition. Carol's presentation about the current policy challenges two years after the Corston Report contains the strong message that alternatives to custody are being used as alternatives to each other, not to the use of imprisonment; and that the number of women going into prison has not reduced. It will be helpful to anyone who is interested in the women's prison population, and in particular, in how to correctly identify trends in its size. You can download a copy of her presentation here.


Griffins Society Women's Policy and Research Exchange Seminar

Forty academics, policy makers, and senior people from criminal justice agencies and voluntary organisations attended The Griffins Society's Women's Policy and Research Exchange Seminar at the London School of Economics on 31 March 2010. They heard three 2009 Griffins Research Fellows present the results of their Fellowships Research. They were Leeanne Plechowicz speaking about her research on the the role of attachments in women offender's relationships with their supervising officers; Sue Matthews and Cath Smith outlining their findings on the sustainability of girls' and young women's groups in Nottinghamshire Youth Offending Services; and Rosie Deedes' study of why women breach licence conditions and are returned to prison.

Jackie Lowthian, Griffins Society Trustee and Nacro's National Policy Development Manager drew the research findings together and outlined the next steps in achieving change in the criminal justice system's work with women offenders. Peter Dunn, former Griffins Society Director, described the other two 2009 Griffins Fellowships projects: Pip Tibbetts' research on partnership work in West Yorkshire and Lucy Watkins' evaluation of the Freedom Programme in women's prisons. Peter offered delgates an outline of the Research Fellowships Research that is being progressed in the current academic year.

Frances Flaxington, Head of the Ministry of Justice Criminal Justice Women's Strategy Team summarised current government initiatives that are keeping the implemenation of the Corston Report's recommendations on track; and the seminar's Chair, Roma Hooper, who is Chair of the Griffins Society Council, summarised the event. Roma identified the key recommendations from all the 2009 Fellowships Projects about which the Society is influencing policy makers.

You can read the report of the Seminar by clicking here.

Here are some photos from the seminar

Delegates at seminar
Delegates at the seminar

Photo of Leeanne Plechowicz
Leeanne Plechowicz describes her research with the Women's Turnaround Project

Cath Smith and Sue Matthews from Nottinghamshire Youth Offending Service
Cath Smith and Sue Matthews researched gender-specific provision for young women

Rosie Deedes presenting her research on recalls
Rosie Deedes presenting her research about women who breach licence conditions

Roma Hooper, Chair
Roma Hooper, Chair of The Griffins Society's Council, who chaired the seminar

Peter Dunn, Griffins Society Director
Dr Peter Dunn, former Griffins Society Director,summarised the remaining 2009 Fellowships research projects and he told delegates about the current 2010 Fellowships projects

Jackie Lowthian, Griffins Society Trustee
Jackie Lowthian, Nacro National Policy Development Manager and Griffins Society Trustee drew the research recommendations together in talking about the next steps

Frances Flaxington from Ministry of Justice
Frances Flaxington, Head of the Ministry of Justice Criminal Justice Women's Strategy Team describing government action for diverting women away from crime.

Kim Davis and other delegates
Kim Davis, former Griffins Society Research and Information Officer, with delegates

Other delegates
Delegates listening to the discussion



photo of woman at LSEWomen in Focus event on 26 November is rated a great success by delegates

The Griffins Society, Clinks and Women in Prison worked with the Ministry of Justice and the Government Equalities Office to present a major conference about the Gender Equality Duty and its implications for work with women offenders. The conference took place on 26th November 2009 at the Hilton Metropole Hotel, London. Speakers included the Minister of State at the Ministry of Justice, Maria Eagle MP; Jackie Lowthian, Griffins Society Trustee and Nacro's National Policy Development Manager; and Adele Baumgardt, National Commissioner for Women. Delegates rated it highly in their feedback: “This event was fantastic" said one delegate, and others commented on the value of the conference in setting out exactly how the Gender Equality Duty can stimulate better provision for women in the criminal justice system. 

Workshops were led by projects that help achieve the distinct approach to working with women that was recommended by Baroness Corston in her 2007 report.This gave delegates plenty of opportunity to learn about 'what works' with women. An afternoon panel comprised HH Judge Adele Williams; Wendy Cranmer, Griffins Trustee and ex-prisoner; Stella Lanning, Manager of Peterborough Women's Centre; Trevor Williams, East of England DOM; and the Rt Hon Theresa May MP, Shadow Minister for Women.

The event was the national conference in a series of ten ‘Women in Focus’ regional events to publicise the implications of the gender equality duty for the work of the criminal justice system.

One delegate wrote that the event was "Well organised and useful - I hope it will make a difference - but previous similar events have unfortunately not had a great impact”. We are determined to keep the issues alive so that this event will have a sustained impact. The organisers are producing a web site that will report on the conference outcomes in more detail, which will help keep the learning from the conference alive. More details of the web site will be available shortly.

You can download the report of all ten Women in Focus events here.



Griffins Fellowships Evaluation

We have published our evaluation of the 2008-2009 Griffins Fellowships Programme. The Programme runs each year in partnership with the London School of Economics. There were six Fellows in the 2008-2009 academic year. Their research focused on a range of issues facing women in the criminal justice system, ranging from the effectiveness of the Freedom Programme for women affected by domestic violence, to pioneering work in a midlands Youth Offending Team with girls and young women. Reports of all six research projects will be available for downloading over the coming months.

The evaluation shows that the Fellows, all of whom are criminal justice system staff who carry out their research alongside their work commitments, greatly valued and enjoyed the experience. All six said they would definitely recommend the Fellowships Programme to other people: one commented that “it has been inspiring to meet like minded people who are prepared to listen and debate and also are fighting to change a system which is so discriminatory to women. I cannot thank you enough”.

The report of the evaluation can be downloaded here.

Sex Workers in Prison (SWIP) Project Evaluation

Sex Workers in Prison: Project Evaluation (April 2009)

Women's Information Network (WIN) Databases

We support a Publications Database which contains a wide range of publications (books, newspaper articles, journal articles, etc) on women and justice. Click here to start a publications search.

We are aiming to update this resource later in 2012.

Please note that the WIN Resource database has been relocated to Women's Breakout. If you need to access information about support and services available (in prison and in the community) in your area, please contact Women's Breakout: www.womensbreakout.org.uk


This site last updated: 24 March 2015
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