Campaigners slam Styal after report
originally published: 27th February 2009
A leading campaign group has said ‘another preventable death is inevitable’ at Styal prison unless bosses recognise the seriousness of their failings. The warning from charity group INQUEST comes after a National Offender Management Programme report said the Cheshire prison fails to meet the needs of its most vulnerable inmates.
The Keller Unit, which houses the most challenging and mentally-ill women, is criticised for using excessive force and making inmates strip as part of the prison’s care plan. Other areas of concern highlighted included: the lack of training, support and leadership; high levels of self-harm and drug use; and inadequate action plans.
Deborah Coles, co-director of INQUEST said Styal continues to give ‘serious cause for concern’. She said: “How often does it need to be demonstrated that this prison cannot provide a safe environment for some of the most damaged women in society who quite frankly should not be in prison at all? “What is needed is a fundamental rethink, not only about Styal but in the whole approach to women who offend, and the provision of alternatives to custody.