DIGITALLY ENABLING THE VOICE OF WOMEN’S CENTRES
TO REDUCE THE WOMEN’S PRISON POPULATION
The National Women's Justice Coalition (NWJC) was founded in 2021 to drive systemic change in the Criminal Justice System (CJS) and strengthen the collective voice of women's centres and specialist organisations working with women across England & Wales. By influencing policy and improving the support given to women, the NWJC hope to reduce the prison population.
With hundreds of women’s centres and specialist organisations across England and Wales working with women in the CJS, visibility of where these organisations are, what services they are providing and how people can contact them was hard to come by. Collaboration between these organisation’s was restricted and the front-line workers trying to signpost women appropriate services were struggling to operate effectively. This carries the risk of women's reoffending rates staying high and prison populations rising.
Women in Prison - a founding member of the NWJC - selected Softools - a No Code Application Platform - to develop a digital solution for centres and specialist organisations to document and keep up-to-date the services that they provide to women. This toolkit is accessible by all participating organisations, including Link Workers and Prison Officers. Users can locate organisations in their region, assess the suitability of their services for women they're working with, and follow the referral process to onboard these women into projects.
The National Women's Justice Coalition now has full visibility of the centres, specialist organisations and prisons across England and Wales, allowing their workers to better identify alternative paths to the Criminal Justice System, with the result of helping more women to avoid and exit the Prison system.
Women in Prison explored building a custom application but opted for a no code option that could be developed iteratively at low cost. They selected Softools for its ability to quickly deliver a solution which was agile and flexible enough to expand in tandem with the NWJC.
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