Can mental health support for mothers stop child neglect?

A British woman jailed for two years for neglecting her children says she could have done better if she had mental health support.

Lydia Morrish
Lydia Morrish NewsMavens, United Kingdom
Can mental health support for mothers stop child neglect? - NewsMavens
Woman, PixaBay

Why this story matters:

While the 2007 Corston Report, a high-profile prison review, recommended only high-risk women be jailed, the majority of women in Wales are jailed for nonaggressive offenses.

One woman was recently jailed for two years for child neglect, due to not having any hot water or heating, animal faeces on the floor and rubbish across the house.

The woman, from south Wales, said she had suffered an abusive relationship and was struggling to cope and that she would not have been in the situation had she received support for her mental health from local authorities

"I hold my hands up, I did live like that and it was disgusting, but I also cleaned my act up, for the sake of making somewhere safe, happy and clean for [my children]," she said.

However, after serving 11 months of her two-year sentence, she was released. But she had already lost her council house, possessions and faced further adversity.

While she is now getting mental health treatment, her situation is a symbol of growing concerns about women imprisoned for non-violent crimes in the UK.

Details from the story:

  • According to the Ministry of Justice, 87.4% of women given custodial sentences in Wales in 2017 had committed non-violent offences compared to 74.7% of men.
  • However a review into vulnerable women in the criminal justice system said only high-risk women should be jailed.
  • The Ministry of Justice said fewer women should be put in prison on short sentences because it can do more harm than good.
  • One woman, a mother from south Wales, was given a two-year custodial sentence for neglecting her children. However, once she was released 11 months later, she had lost her house. Her mental health had also plummeted, showing the danger of imprisoning non-violent women for a short time.
WITH FINANCIAL SUPPORT FROM:
SUPPORTED BY:

Project #Femfacts co-financed by European Commission Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology as part of the Pilot Project – Media Literacy For All

The information and views set out on this website are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official opinion of the European Union. Neither the European Union institutions and bodies nor any person acting on their behalf may be held responsible for the use which may be made of the information contained therein.

STRATEGIC PARTNERS:
NewsMavens
NewsMavens is a media start-up within Gazeta Wyborcza, Poland's largest liberal broadsheet published by Agora S.A. NewsMavens is currently financed by Gazeta Wyborcza and Google DNI Fund.
Is something happening in your country that Newsmavens should cover?
CORE TEAM
Zuzanna Ziomecka
Zuzanna Ziomecka EDITOR IN CHIEF
Lea Berriault-Jauvin
Lea Berriault Managing Editor
Jessica Sirotin
Jessica Sirotin EDITOR
Ada Petriczko
Ada Petriczko EDITOR
Gazeta Wyborcza, Agora SA Czerska 8/10 00-732, Warsaw Poland
The e-mail addresses provided above are not intended for recruitment purposes. Messages concerning recruitment will be deleted immediately. Your personal data provided as part of your correspondence with Zuzanna,Lea, Jessica and Ada will be processed for the purpose of resolving the issue you contacted us about. The data provided in your email is controlled by Agora S.A. with its registered office in Warsaw Czerska 8/10 Street (00-732). You can find more information about the processing and protection of your personal data at https://newsmavens.com/transparency-policy
System.Threading.Tasks.Task`1[System.Threading.Tasks.VoidTaskResult];