Author Archives: Zinzi Eka-Naphtali

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

Launch of the Mikey Powell Memorial Family Fund appeal

Mikey Powell Campaigners

Mikey Powell Campaigners

source: 4WardEver UK
published: 30 August 2015

On the twelfth anniversary of the death of Mikey Powell, who died in the custody of West Midlands Police, campaigning news group 4WardEver UK, which was launched on 1st June 2006 by his cousin Tippa Naphtali, will be launching the National Mikey Powell Memorial Family Fund appeal.

The Fund is being developed in conjunction with the Friends of Mikey Powell Campaign, The United Families & Friends Campaign and Migrant Media.

Organisers also acknowledge the late Pauline Campbell who died in May 2008.

The fund will be the first permanent national resource of its kind for those affected by deaths in custody, making small grants available for families and their campaign groups across the UK to provide practical domestic assistance, to further the work of their own campaigns or to assist them in engaging in other local, regional or national campaigns, events and initiatives. Read the rest of this entry

Children should not be kept in prison

Gareth Myatt (2)

Gareth Myatt

source: Society | The Guardian
published: 25 May 2015

Nearly eight years ago, the judge presiding over the inquest into the restraint death of 15-year-old Gareth Myatt in Rainsbrook secure training centre in 2004 wrote to the then justice secretary, Jack Straw.

He gave 34 detailed recommendations for, among other things, improving oversight of the prison. Yet it would appear from its media statement that the Youth Justice Board only found out about the eight cases of serious staff misconduct, with at least six sackings, after being contacted by Ofsted earlier this year (Six sacked from G4S centre slated by Ofsted, 21 May).

The YJB is in charge of the government contract with G4S; it has its own monitor on the premises.

Presumably it did not know a child with a fracture (possibly caused by restraint) had been denied medical treatment for 15 hours?   Read the rest of this entry