Women’s Breakout seeks to identify, consolidate and share a collective voice that represents the diversity of women using our services. They are ‘experts by experience’ and ‘a woman first and last’, and their voice is critical to the success of the transformational agenda that the Criminal Justice System is currently embarking on.

This project aims to bring together the voice of 100 women drawn from up to ten of our member organisations and projects. This voice is national in its reach, speaking to the issues and concerns of our service users and reflecting the reality of their lives. They have decided who they want to hear this message, and how they wish to present it.

This project has consisted of five phases (click on those that are underlined for more information):

(i)    100 Women Speak – all Women’s Breakout member organisations were asked to work with women around 10 semi-structured questions – we have now collected the ‘voice of over 100 women’ in response to the same questions.
(ii)    Deep diving – six of our member organisations worked with women to use innovative ways to create outcomes such as video diaries, collages and films that illustrate the voice of women in powerful mediums.
(iii)    Collective Voices – we commissioned User Voice to facilitate workshops for nine member organisations in this phase to explore key themes to be addressed in an Open Space Event. Following the workshops User Voice continued to work with two women from each organisation to support them to take forward the group’s issues to the open space event.
(iv)    Open Space Event – this was a fantastic, energetic meeting of Experts by Experience and decision makers across the Criminal Justice System, that culminated in a set of five recommendations to decision makers. A report of this phase is now available on the Open Space Event page.
(v)    Lay Assessors – Ten women have undertaken an accredited residential course at Fircroft College, Birmingham to become trained Lay Assessors.

Women Experts by Experience event

On 5 February 2014 we held an exciting event to share our journeys and outcome. We heard what women need to say, what could be done to achieve better outcomes for women who have offended, and women and organisations were identified who could help deliver better solutions.


PDF presentation from the event