The Big Question

    Len Smith

    Gypsy activist

    I have never thought it right to imprison women, except for the
    most violent of crimes. That said, if support systems are not in
    place or inaccessible to an addict in the “outside world”, then it
    may be actually helpful to imprison women (or anyone) where the
    confined regime, allied to drug rehabilitation, might be an

    Shaun Webster

    Change self-advocacy group

    It is wrong to put women in prison who have drug problems
    because they could get drugs from outside which can make things
    worse. They need to go to a hostel and discuss their problems. They
    might have been abused and that’s why they take drugs. They
    need counselling and not prison. Prison can make things worse.

    Kierra Box

    Youth activist

    Prevention is better than cure, treatment better than
    punishment. It’s a bad thing that women with drug problems
    are sent to prison. I don’t think you can help someone by
    punishing them. They may have made a bad decision in the past, but
    they should be helped to overcome it in proper treatment centres
    outside the prison system.

    Angie Lawrence

    Single mother

    Drug abuse ought to be considered a social problem rather than a
    legal problem. Alcoholics don’t go to prison unless
    they’ve committed a crime and drug misusers ought to be
    considered in the same light. More treatment and support are needed
    in the community. Where prison is justified, there should be proper
    facilities inside.

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