Two women's prisons in the North West have been labelled "overcrowded" by reform campaigners.
Styal Prison in Cheshire is named by the PRT's report
The Prison Reform Trust (PRT) said Styal Prison, near Wilmslow, Cheshire, and Buckley Hall, in Rochdale, Greater Manchester, are among eight overcrowded female prisons in the UK.
It said the number of women in jail nationally was 4,447 this week - a rise of 32 from August 2002.
The PRT said too many women criminals were being jailed and called for sentencing policy to be changed.
Director Juliet Lyon said: "Few women offenders present a real risk to the public.
"For all but the most serious and violent offenders, support and supervision centres in local communities offer the best chance for women offenders to get out of trouble and take responsibility for their lives."
The number of women inmates has soared by 40% in five years, according to the PRT.
But it said reoffending figures from 1998 revealed 52% had committed a crime within two years of their release.