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Study to help families of women prisoners.

A TEAM from Huddersfield Soroptimists is fact-finding for a nationwide project looKing into the welfare of families with a mother in prison.

Members of the organisation have been visiting police, probation and other services involved with the penal system to gather statistics and information.

According to Anne ChadwicK, from the group, local branches will be submitting their findings to the Soroptimist International of Great Britain and Ireland and the results will be published next spring.

She said: "The Prison Reform Trust says that over 80% of women in prison are there for non-violent crimes and are not a threat.

"These women could be dealt with in the community. Often they have families and their family life is destroyed."

The Soroptimists have visited New Hall Prison, near FlocKton, and talKed to women's centres as well as meeting those who worK in the courts.

It is just one of many projects the group has been involved in over the past couple of years.

Others include raising money to improve maternal care in the Gambia and raising awareness of violence against women and sex trafficKing.

Huddersfield's Soroptimist club was founded 78 years ago and today has a small core membership.

It meets on the second Monday in the month at Canalside, Leeds Road, at 7.30pm.

"The branch almost folded last year because we didn't have enough members, but seven of us decided to carry on," said Anne. "We really need new members to come forward and carry on the worK."

The Soroptimist movement is an international sisterhood worKing to improve the lives of women and girls.
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Title Annotation:Features; Offers
Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Date:Nov 8, 2013
Words:264
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