A report released today
shows the stark failure of our prison and probation systems to deal with sexual offenders once they are convicted. At a time when there are more perpetrators of sexual violence in the system than ever before, we need a national conversation about how we as a society respond to this issue, together with a commitment to proper funding. There is a clear failure to prioritise the safety of women and children at any stage of the process, and we repeat our call for an end to end review
of the entire criminal justice system response to sexual violence.
The public presume women and children are kept safe from sexual offenders but this is evidence that standards are woefully inadequate. The Ministry of Justice’s own research has shown that the sexual offender programmes they relied did not reduce risk. Proper research and investment into what really works to rehabilitate sexual offenders, and how to manage them both in and outside prison, is required. The failure to properly rehabilitate, risk assess and supervise known offenders mirrors the totally inadequate support provision for victims. Successive government ministers have ignored this issue for too long and it is time that they show leadership and stand up for women’s rights.