The voices of women who have experienced of the criminal justice system are too often ignored or overlooked. Working Chance exists to change that, and our clients tell us that they want to change the policies and systems which hold them back. So, we worked with a group of six articulate and determined women with convictions, our Changemakers, giving them the training and tools to speak truth to power. Over 9 months, they developed research and a campaign to tackle the inadequacies of the benefits system. Poverty is one of the main drivers of women’s offending. Women tell us about the cycle of criminalisation and poverty, making moving on into employment a real challenge. Most of the women who use our employability service are on Universal Credit when they join, and tell us that a reformed benefits system would offer safety and security, supporting them to find work and contribute positively to society.
Failed by the systems designed to protect them, and ready for change, our Changemakers used their experiences, their determination, and their passion for activism to create a powerful campaign, advocating not just for themselves but for thousands of women like them.