YSS and Working with Women in the Criminal Justice System

Roxy Gray, YSS Keyworker and Sarah Bowcott, YSS Senior Keyworker, were recent  speakers at a Warwickshire and West Mercia Community Rehabilitation  Company (WWMCRC) meeting on Working with Women.

Here is their presentation:

Working with Women in the Criminal Justice System 2016

“The event was really interesting, highlighting the complexities we all face working with women. I think the main thing that came out of the event for me is the restriction of programmes and Rehabilitation Activity Requirement (RAR) days, as many of the programmes discussed were 5/10 weeks long, whilst everyone acknowledged that it can take several sessions to get women to open up enough to work with them.” Roxy  commented.

  • esp__0009_10The reality is ……—YSS often support women referred to them with issues related to their interaction with social services.  YSS are there to support them through this difficult process; explaining the processes, how it works and what happens next. Unfortunately our experience has shown that such processes are not clearly explained to the women and causes them great anxiety and concern. —The women perceive that the other agencies are just ‘reporting’ on them.

—“I remember one young woman who had been in prison who we helped gain supervised access to her son.  She had had him in prison and he was taken from her immediately.  When she was allowed more access, she became so much more confident and worked hard to get the other things she needed like accommodation and more education.  She said our support at that time, including telephone contacts, really helped her get through the darker days.  We were the one stable service that was there (who listened and always kept in touch) to see the process through from start to finish.” YSS keyworker

esp__0003_22Quotes from our service users :

  • —”Thank you for everything I really appreciate it. I’ve felt you’re someone I have always been able to open up to and I’m not like that with many people.  Hope to see you again in future. Thank you 😊’ (We did say we hoped in the nicest way we dint see her again!)
  • —J said: “They’ve given me so much support, providing me with contacts  that have helped me to start volunteering. If I didn’t have YSS I would just be sitting at home, getting into trouble.”
  • A said: “The staff and volunteers are very supportive, encouraging, non-judgemental, referring me to appropriate services. I get on with the other service users and my experience has been very enjoyable. I’m now working in their cafe!”



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