Women in Prison

Women in Prison is a unique, women-only organisation that provides gender-specialist support to women affected by the criminal justice system, and campaigns to expose the injustice and damage caused to women and their families by imprisonment.

Background

The organisation was founded in 1983 by Chris Tchaikovsky and international criminologist, Pat Carlen. Fuelled by anger about incidents she had witnessed when imprisoned in HMP Holloway, founder Chris campaigned for change and an increase in awareness of the lives of women in prison.

In the early 1990s, the organisation was able to expand its remit beyond campaigning to deliver direct support to women affected by the criminal justice system. WIP's initial focus on prison in-reach services was then expanded to support women in the community following their release.

WIP run three women’s centres which support women holistically to address the root causes of offending, such as domestic violence, mental ill-health, substance misuse, poverty, and homelessness.

Sadly, in 2002, Chris passed away. Despite the loss of its visionary founder, Women in Prison works to carry on Chris' legacy, and continues to grow.

WIP draw on their extensive expertise to influence policy-makers, media and the public, and run a number of campaigns to raise awareness of their cause, such as their ambition to reduce the women's prison population by half to 2,020, by 2020.

The life experiences of women prisoners and ex-prisoners means that the need for a women-only workforce is necessary, if not essential, which is why all staff and volunteers at Women in Prison are female. Across the organisation, volunteers support WIP staff with office and finance admin, running workshops, counselling and mentoring, fundraising, research and policy, campaigning and much more.

Challenge

In the background of the women’s work to support such a significant cause, Croner have been able to offer internal support for the charity’s workforce for a number of years.

Croner was chosen by Trustees over ten years ago, and have since assisted with HR advice during redundancy, TUPE and other employment-related situations.  

How We've Helped

When asked about the service they have received, Senior Management at WIP inform: “Guidance and advice has been provided in a timely manner by Croner representatives, who were extremely punctual in returning calls and emails. The advice given was clear with definitive guidance on procedures throughout.

“It was particularly reassuring to be given one point of contact for particular cases.

"In addition, it has been clear from communications that the Croner member of staff allocated to an enquiry has taken the time to get familiar with the background detail and circumstances of the cases, therefore avoiding the necessity for repetition when seeking further advice or clarification.

“Croner’s services have helped Women in Prison by supporting managers with HR situations that have arisen relating to employment. In addition, Croner have supported WiP through updating policies and processes relevant to employment responsibilities.

“Croner are efficient, knowledgeable, professional and courteous in communications with staff. Contact with Croner is always reassuring as we are confident we have access to up to date HR advice and support.”

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