Three quarters of women jailed in England and Wales serve sentences of 12 months or less, often for non-violent offences like theft.
But even a short spell in prison can be devastating, particularly for mothers, whose children may end up in care.
One charity is trialling a community alternative to prison, where women live alongside their children and get help to break the cycle of reoffending.
Working together with the police, probation and court system, it’s the first of its kind in the UK. With the prison population at an all-time high and ministers promising to move away from short sentences – could projects like this be the solution?
Producer: Claire Sinka