Eden House, Bristol

Eden House, Bristol

On 9 November 2012 an open day was held at Eden House – the winner of the Howard League Community Programmes Award in the women’s category.

Eden House was developed in response to the Corston report, which called for a radically different approach to female offenders. It provides a one stop service that engages women in making positive changes to their lives – reducing their propensity to offend and increasing their access to mainstream services and opportunities.

The open day was held to celebrate the work of Eden House and promote awareness of the project to local stakeholders. It was attended by a large number of professionals from the criminal justice system and organisations involved in the rehabilitation of offenders. Baroness Corston, Bristol East MP Kerry McCarthy and the Mayor of Bristol were also in attendance.

The day began with a tour of the project, including the new crèche facilities. Lunch was then provided by some of the service users, before a presentation was given by Hannah Mahoney, service manager at Eden House. Guest speakers France Crook, chief executive of the Howard League, Baroness Corston and Kerry McCarthy MP spoke about the work and achievements of Eden House as well as the issues facing women in the criminal justice system. Kerry McCarthy emphasised the necessity of a holistic and intelligent approach to all offenders, and noted the work Eden House had done with women with drug addiction and mental health problems.

The day culminated with a round table discussion composed of representatives from the police, the magistracy, the probation service, NOMS, Bristol University as well as PCC candidates and service users at Eden House. The conversation centred around the development of sentencing and support for female offenders and generated many innovative comments and ideas.

Notes from the round table can be found here.