18 April 2017
Working with women who are in prison, or who have recently been released, is a big part of what we do at Doorway Women’s Services. We’ve now extended this to working with women who have just been arrested. By getting involved at the point women first enter the criminal justice system, we hope to have an even greater impact and really help them to turn their lives around. Known as WONDER, it’s hoped this project will help women across Norfolk to get the help and support they really need.
The WONDER Project
The WONDER Project is a groundbreaking initiative led by Police and Crime Commissioner Lorne Green. We’ll be working in collaboration with the police, Julian Support and the Sue Lambert Trust to offer women the help they need to get their lives back on track.
Norfolk is one of just four places in the country receiving funding from the Ministry of Justice. However, if it works, it’s possible similar projects will be rolled out to areas across the UK.
How it will work
Women who are arrested and brought into the custody facilities in Wymondham and King’s Lynn will be assessed to see if they’re eligible for WONDER. In order to be suitable for the project women will need to receive a conditional caution or voluntarily refer themselves to the project
All women taking part in the project will then meet with a project link worker. The link worker will work with them to assess their individual needs and develop a support system for addressing those needs. The Link Worker will also mentor and support each woman to help them access the support they need. The project will place a focus on making relevant support more accessible to women in rural areas.
For those women with a conditional caution, the caution will be completed if they follow their support and development plan. If they fail to complete the plan, the police will take further action.
Why is it needed?
Often, women entering the legal justice system have a range of complex needs. And, like PCC Lorne Green says: “If we’re going to reduce the number of women being taken into police custody, going to court, serving prison sentences, and re-offending, then we have to understand what makes them vulnerable to committing crime”. In order to prevent re-offending and help these women to turn their lives around, the police and related organisations need to ensure they get the help and support they need, when they need it.
By working closely with our partner organisations and the people who are referred to the project, we hope to have a real impact on the lives of women who would otherwise end up in the criminal justice system. To find out more about The WONDER Project, or to talk to someone about the help and support available to women in Norfolk, contact a member of our team today on 0808 800 1030.