We sponsor research to bring about change in how women and girls are dealt with in the criminal justice system

Our research listings

Research Papers and Briefings

At the end of their year on the Griffins Society Fellowship Programme, Fellows produce a 10,000 word Research Paper on their findings. Research Papers are available here to view or download as a PDF (the size of each file is given).  

For all papers you will find the REPORT IN FULL, and also a single-page ABSTRACT.  For more recent papers, an EXECUTIVE SUMMARY is also available.

Fellows' research can be freely copied and distributed as long as the author and the Griffins Society are credited.


 

A Sense of Place: a study of accessing housing for women exiting custody - housing first not housing last

Author: 
Tracey McMahon
Published: 
2019

This study focused on twelve women who received a direct pathway for housing following their release from prison. Using data collated through semi-structured interviews gathered over a 12-month period, the study followed the lives of the women as they settled in to their homes after varying terms in prison. The findings revealed that some of the women had little or no support for a need for housing previously and that a direct through the gate pathway to housing evidenced in this report produced positive outcomes that benefitted the participants and in some cases, their children. The findings revealed, that long-term housing needs were not part of resettlement planning – instead inappropriate assessments and placements into temporary accommodation were consistent avenues that addressed a short-term response for the providers of services and did not reflect or accept the complexities of women’s lives. Furthermore, the study evidenced the use of the “Housing First” model and the benefits this brought for the women in that they were able to flourish and readily adapt to life as women in the community and begin to leave their time in prison, behind them.

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Outnumbered, locked up and overlooked? The use of penal custody for girls in England & Wales

Author: 
Pippa Goodfellow
Published: 
2019

The overall numbers of girls in the youth justice system and in the secure estate have fallen rapidly over the past decade. The recent decline in the use of custody is very welcome but poses significant challenges for the commissioning of placements, custodial establishments and resettlement services. Girls have become increasingly overlooked by the penal system at both a policy and a practice level and their diminishing minority in custody has exacerbated the marginalisation of their needs. Analysis of the existing literature has underlined the damaging and disruptive nature of incarceration, identified a lack of policy focus on the female population in the youth secure estate and found a paucity of available data about the nature of recent custodial sentencing, remand and placements for girls. The primary aim of this research project is to critically examine the use of penal custody for girls in England and Wales, in order to fill a gap in the existing research, policy and practice literature. This study aimed to address this gap by analysing recent custody data, to investigate how penal detention is being used for girls from a gendered perspective.

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Survived...but at what cost? A study of women in the criminal justice system who experienced domestic abuse, and the potential for change

Author: 
Geraldine McGuigan and Ruth Walker
Published: 
2019

This Northern Ireland based research focuses on the impact of domestic abuse and its implications for women who offend so that more appropriate responses can be identified and introduced across the criminal justice system.

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Too many bends in the tunnel? Women serving Indeterminate Sentences of IPP - what are the barriers to risk reduction, release and resettlement?

Author: 
Sarah Smart
Published: 
2019

Indeterminate Imprisonment for Public Protection (IPP) is one of the most controversial sentences in the history of British sentencing, creating a ‘general and systemic legal failure’ (Laws LJ in Wells (2007)). Female IPP prisoners represent an often forgotten and overlooked minority, stuck in the creaking penal system. This research provides the first empirical exploration of female prisoners on IPP still in prison, despite the abolition of the sentence in 2012.

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