News | Press Release

17 October 2023

Responding to Justice Secretary’s announcement on prison reform

Commenting on the Justice Secretary’s announcement on prison reforms, Ellie Butt, Head of Policy, Public Affairs and Research at Refuge said: 

“Refuge is urgently calling for clarity following the Secretary of State for Justice’s announcement that ‘low-level offenders’ may be released from prison early under jail reforms and perpetrators may avoid prison if sentenced to less than 12 months. The Secretary of State for Justice must provide clear guidance to judges exempting VAWG offences from this presumption. 

Many perpetrators of domestic abuse will be in prison serving short sentences, so it is vital that survivors of domestic abuse and VAWG offences are protected and perpetrators of these crimes receive custodial sentences.  

Probation standards and the police response must improve dramatically in supervising perpetrators of domestic abuse, already we know that too many survivors are at risk from their perpetrators who are on probation, with them reporting protective orders are repeatedly breached and not monitored.  

Survivors of abuse should not be left to live in fear, their welfare must be the priority in any justice reform.”