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Challenging the Over-Representation of Care Experienced Women in Prison

Fitzpatrick.C., Hunter. K

2021

Despite popular perceptions continuing to link care experience with troublesome behaviour, just 1% of children enter care because of ‘socially unacceptable behaviour’. However, women who have been in care as children (for example, in foster care or children’s homes) have long been over-represented in the criminal justice system. Whilst only 1% of the general population have been in care, estimates suggest that this is the case for 31% of adult females in custody. This figure is very likely to be an underestimate because of the difficulties in identifying past care experience amongst those in prison.