The vast majority of women entering prison in England and Wales do so for only a short period of time, due to either being or sentenced to less than 12 months. The government has identified specific groups who should if possible avoid incarceration, including non-violent offenders, those with mental health problems; many remand prisoners, and most women. In England and Wales a person can be remanded in prison when they have either been accused or charged with a crime or while they await a sentencing decision. The Corston Report specifically criticised the use of short prison sentences for non-violent, vulnerable women who could often be classified as victims themselves, posing little risk to others but presenting ‘a far greater risk to themselves’. The distance women are held for short periods also disproportionately punishes them because many are primary caregivers to children; for example, ‘53% of women in our surveys had children under the age of 18’.