Remembering Pauline Campbell : 8 Years on and sorely missed

Benjamin Zephaniah & Pauline Campbell

4WardEver UK pays respect to our sister and comrade as we mark the 8th anniversary of her tragic death. “We salute you”

Pauline Campbell was found dead on 15 May 2008, not far from the grave of her daughter Sarah. Sarah died in January 2003 in HMP Styal.

Picture: Pauline Campbell with Benjamin Zephaniah, Cousin of Mikey Powell @ the ‘Moving Forward Together’ event in Birmingham, 2005.

Read the rest of this entry

Trapped without hope: The hidden mental health crisis in women’s prisons

Female prison officer (large)source: Broadly
published: 14 October 2016

From self-harming in groups to starvation and self-immolation, women are overwhelmingly more likely than men to hurt themselves while incarcerated. So why isn’t the prison system responding?

Marria, 29, is a disability rights activist who uses a wheelchair. She also has borderline personality disorder and a history of self-harm. In 2013, she was convicted of an antisocial behavior charge, and sentenced to time in prison.

“I was in Holloway for ten months,” she said. “I went through lots of self-harm episodes there, including setting myself on fire and trying to hang myself.”

Penny Bennett, a charity caseworker who supported her, said Maria frequently used a dressing gown robe or socks to form a ligature, which she left hanging around her neck. Read the rest of this entry

Women shouldn’t be forced to seek refuge inside a prison

Borstal young offender cellsource: Politics.co.uk
published: 20 May 2016

By Claire Cain
Over the years Holloway has been like a refuge to me – sleeping in doorways was tough. When it was freezing and there was snow on the ground, I would never have survived outside.”

The above quote is from the story Survival, part of an online collection of anonymous first-hand accounts about life in soon to be closed Holloway prison. It says everything about why we, at the national charity Women in Prison (WIP), have launched a campaign to Reclaim Holloway, and why we want to see a different approach to prison reform from that set out in the Queen’s Speech.

Every year around 9,000 women are sent to prison, yet the only risk of harm posed by most of them is to themselves. Suicides in prison are on the rise. Read the rest of this entry

Grandson of last British woman to be hanged fights to clear her name

Ruth Ellis

Ruth Ellis

source: Sunday Post
published: 27 June 2016

The grandson of Ruth Ellis, the last woman to be hanged in Britain, has vowed to carry on the fight to clear her name. Steven Beard, 27, is seeking a pardon for Ellis, despite a Court of Appeal ruling that her conviction was not a miscarriage of justice.

The glamorous London nightclub hostess was sent to the gallows for shooting dead her abusive lover, racing driver David Blakely, in 1955.

Mr Beard believes new evidence published by writer Carol Ann Lee in her book, A Fine Day For A Hanging: The Real Ruth Ellis Story, could be the basis for a fresh appeal. The book was published four years after Georgina, Mr Beard’s mother, died of cancer in 2001. Read the rest of this entry