As well as providing specialist services to foreign national and BMER women and men affected by the UK criminal justice system, we also aim to provide high quality evidence to policy-makers on the issues our clients face.

Evidence matters

Last year (17/18) we provided support to over 2,000 people a year in prions, in immigration removal centres (IRCs) and in the community. Evidence is important to us as is helps us untangle the facts behind sensationalist headlines and draw funders and policy makers’ attention to the multiple, complex challenges our clients face.

Evidence helps us demonstrate which services have the most positive impacts. For example, between 2016 and 2017 there was a 35% increase in people identified as potential victims of trafficking (National Crime Agency) and we too have an increasing numbers of clients seek our support with matters relating to having been trafficked. In the last year we’ve supported 200 clients with trafficking concerns.  Our analysis suggests that some women and men who are convicted on evidence of a crime, have in fact been trafficked or coerced into criminal activity, occasionally wrongly ending up in prison instead of being correctly identified and supported.

Evidence we gather from our own work and from other expert sources helps us to constantly assess the need for our existing services and development of new services. Only with evidence we can establish and demonstrate which services make a positive and tangible difference.


UK statistics


The foreign national female prison population accounts for 10.5% of the female prison population in the UK.

More than half of women in prison (53%) report having experienced emotional, physical or sexual abuse as a child

Hibiscus in numbers


Last year we provided support to:

  • 200 individuals with human trafficking concerns in prisons, in community and in immigration removal centres

Black women were twice as likely as white women to receive a custodial sentence in the Crown Court for drugs offences. Asian and other minority ethnic women were over 40% more likely than white women to be convicted at magistrates’ court.

Analysis conducted for the Lammy Review of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) representation in the Criminal Justice System (2016)

Hibiscus in numbers

Prisons, Community and IRCs

Last year we provided support to:

  • Over 150 women in our Women’s Centre
  • 390 women and men in prisons (HMP Peterborough, HMP Downview, HMP Send, and HMP Bronzefield)
  • Over 1,700 women, men and families in Immigration Removal Centres and Gatwick PDA


Key Publications