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Just no future at the moment: Examining the barriers to community resettlement for foreign national women

Author: 
Sophia Benedict
Published: 
2020

The overarching aim of this study was to examine and explore the barriers to resettlement for foreign national women living in the community in the UK, and to shed light on the complex ways in which non-citizen immigration status shapes the lived reality of resettlement for this group. In recent years, there has been an increased focus by the UK government on the deportation of ‘foreign national criminals’ on completion of their sentence, an emphasis that has geared foreign national women’s pathways through the CJS strongly towards the possibility of deportation, over rehabilitation and resettlement. Yet, many foreign national women are released into the community post sentence – indeed, 260 women in 2017 (Ministry of Justice 2019), in addition to women serving community sentences. By interviewing women in open, semi-structured conversations, my aim was to identify and gain much needed insight into the challenges they face, giving space for women to voice the struggles – often painfully sustained and unyielding – that shape their daily lives in the community and render rehabilitative goals impossible. By interviewing practitioners, I aimed to identify the barriers they come up against in providing support and to ask how these could be addressed. Ultimately, the research makes recommendations for urgently needed improvements to current provision for this group.

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