It is vital that we manage the backlog in the courts, and we are doing so across Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service. I am looking closely at the youth estate because it is vital that we ensure that the youth—who are particularly vulnerable and who cannot do as many remote hearings as those in the adult estate—get justice and get it swiftly. We have opened up a number of youth courts and are working hard to ensure that youth justice continues.
I am very pleased to have spoken regularly to the hon. Lady about residential women’s centres, which are a vital part of the female offender strategy. Her question is about the resettlement of women leaving prison. I hope she is aware that we invested an additional £22 million a year over the remaining life of the community rehabilitation company contracts to deliver an enhanced through-the-gate resettlement service. We also have specific funding for women—we are putting £5 million into community services that help female offenders to address the underlying causes of their criminality—and we recently invested a further £2.5 million to assist in further supporting female offenders. That is currently being distributed via a funding competition, which opened on 6 July.
Our statistics are that 4.2% of the female prison releases were to rough sleeping and 14% were released as “other homeless”, but the numbers, whatever they are, are too high. The hon. Lady rightly identifies that we are talking to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government and that a spending review is coming up; Members will have heard the Lord Chancellor talking about our absolute commitment, and we will be looking at a number of things—education, employment and tackling homelessness on release.
I, too, welcome to your place, Mr Speaker.
I know that the hon. Lady is very interested in this very important area and chaired a roundtable that a former Justice Minister attended. It is absolutely right that pregnant women in custody should get the care that they deserve. I hope she will be reassured to know that there is a two-day programme that prison officers can attend to ensure that they get the appropriate training to deal with women in custody who are pregnant. However, we recognise that there are more things that we can do, and before the election was called we had already started a fundamental review of pregnant women in custody and the operation of our mother and baby units.
I would be happy to meet the hon. Lady, who is very experienced in this issue. Last week I visited HMP Bronzefield where I spoke to people on the mother and baby unit. Birth Companions operates from that prison, but I would be very happy to meet the hon. Lady and take advantage of her expertise.