Transformative Justice for Women

Small Group Project 2023-24

Transformative Justice for Women: Consolidating Expertise towards a Women’s Building model

Small Group Project 2023-24

HMP Holloway, London, the largest women’s prison in Western Europe, closed in 2016. As a result, much of the advocacy, support and therapeutic services provided to women were lost or significantly reduced. Many women relied on the prison to access services, and limited provision exists in prisons outside London. Women in Prison (2017) found that the lack of support, care and safety provided for women in the community leads many women to choose to offend in order to access services. Since its closure, campaigners have called for a Women’s Building to be established as a legacy of the prison: an iconic and flagship support institution for women, founded in decarceral, trauma-informed, caring and collaborative approaches.

This campaign will benefit immeasurably from the input and insight of existing women’s organisations, of which there is a numerous and diverse range across the UK. With this ISRF application, we sought funding for: 1) a townhall style networking event where representatives of these organisations can share knowledge, network, and create a collective record of their work and expertise and 2) a series of interviews with founders and leaders of these organisations, and women using these services. These events will form part of a longstanding campaign and research project that argues for a decarceral, trauma-informed, holistic response to the various and often traumatic issues that lead women into the prison system. 

This research will ensure that the Holloway Women’s Building project – from vision and principles to governance and operational practice – is founded on collective knowledge and expertise. We envisage a future where essential services are available in the community and women’s freedom is not a price of accessing services. This research will draw on the collective strength and expertise of UK women’s organisations to inform a transformative justice model of service provision.

Contacting Fellows

If you would like to contact any of our Fellows to discuss their ISRF-funded work, please contact Dr Lars Cornelissen (Academic Editor) in the first instance, at