International Review of Custodial Models for Women: Key Messages for Scotland

This report summarises some of the international evidence on different approaches to managing women in custody. It was prepared to inform the consultation undertaken by the Scottish Government and the Scottish Prison Service earlier this year in relation to the redesign of the female custodial estate in Scotland.


This section provides links to relevant websites and reports which may be of interest to policymakers.

Relevant websites

International Centre for Prison Studies

International Penal and Penitentiary Foundation

Irish Penal Reform Trust

Penal Reform International

Includes a 'toolbox' of resources to help policy-makers to implement the Bangkok Rules

Prison Reform Trust

Prison Research Centre

Prison Service Journal (Centre for Crime and Justice Studies)

Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research (SCCJR)

Women in the criminal justice system: key external resources - selection of recommended international resources on women prisoners and offenders

Statistical resources

ICPS International Prison Population Lists

Scottish Government Criminal Proceedings Data

Scottish Government Prison Population Statistics

Scottish Prison Service (SPS) Prison Population Statistics


Scottish Prison Service (SPS) Prison Survey 2013 Female Offenders

Other reports/projects of interest

ESRC-funded University of Strathclyde study (Barry et al) entitled 'Regulating Justice: The dynamics of compliance and breach in criminal justice social work in Scotland' which is due to complete May 2015

See also Centre for Law Crime and Justice - Research into the Dynamics of Compliance within a Criminal Justice Context.

Deady, C. (2014) Incarceration and Recidivism: Lessons from abroad.

Interesting paper on recidivism (from an American perspective) - not women specific but discusses the Nordic approach and why recidivism is so low there.

NOMS (2013) UK Female Prison Estate Review (2013)

Prisons of the Future Project

European project which will be searching and researching alternatives to regular imprisonment and advise on innovative solutions for future implementation (2014-2016)

British Academy (2014) A Presumption Against Imprisonment: Social Order and Social Values

The study explores the reasons behind the high prison population in the UK, as well as offering contributions to the ongoing debate about why and how we should try to reduce both the number of people we imprison, and the length of time for which many are imprisoned.

PRI (2014) The use and practice of imprisonment: current trends and future challenges.

Women in Prison (2012) Report on the Roundtable on Small Custodial Units, 15th May 2012

How to access background or source data

The data collected for this social research publication:

☐ are available in more detail through Scottish Neighbourhood Statistics

☒ are available via an alternative route - please refer to the Further Resources and References sections of this report. Further information may be obtained from

☐ may be made available on request, subject to consideration of legal and ethical factors. Please contact <email address> for further information.

☐ cannot be made available by Scottish Government for further analysis as Scottish Government is not the data controller.


Email: Tamsyn Wilson

Back to top