57% of women in prison report having been victims of domestic violence. More than half (53%) report having experienced emotional, physical or sexual abuse as a child compared to 27% of men. There are strong links between women’s experience of domestic and sexual abuse and coercive relationships, and their offending.

When women are sentenced to a term of imprisonment, their caring responsibilities for their children are rarely taken into account and the consequences can be life altering for the children they leave behind. Research suggests that only 1 in 20 children whose mother is sent to prison each year is able to stay in the family home.

Maintaining links with their children in important for the health and well-being of both the mothers and children. We have been working with the Prisoners Advice Service on a joint project aimed at increasing the availability of family law advice for women in prison. Our aim is to improve the ability of women in prison to enforce their rights and increase access to justice.

We have been training PAS’ Women Prisoners’ Caseworker to deliver outreach clinics in six prisons in England.

With the help of women at HMP Send and HMP Bronzefield, we have developed four legal advice guides specifically aimed at women in prison.

The legal information on this page is not legal advice. 

Can’t find what you are looking for or need legal advice? Contact our legal advice line. If you have a legal problem you should seek legal advice.

Please note that some legal guides list out of date opening hours for our advice lines. Please click here for up-to-date information on all of our advice lines.

Our Online Legal Guides

Adoption for women in prison

Parental Responsibility for women in prison

When families cannot agree for women in prison

When social services are involved for women in prison