Category Archives: Prison Abuse

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

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

Jury finds ‘serious failings’ in the death of Sarah Higgins

Prison Cell Emptyprovided by: INQUEST
published: 29 October 2013

The inquest into the death of Sarah Higgins at HMP Bronzefield concluded on 28 October 2013 with the jury finding that serious procedural failings and inadequate formal training contributed to Sarah’s death.

Sarah died on 8 May 2010 aged 30. At the time of her death, Sarah had three children aged 5, 6 and 11. Sarah was discovered unresponsive on the floor of her cell shortly before 4.30 am by a Prison Custody Officer. Emergency resuscitation was unsuccessful and she was pronounced dead at 4.48 am. A Kinder Egg containing various drugs was found in her clothing.

Before arriving at HMP Bronzefield, Sarah had been in the custody of Sussex Police following her arrest on 5 May 2010. Whilst in police custody she was on constant watch due to police officers having witnessed what they suspected to be Sarah secreting drugs.

On 7 May 2010, Sarah was taken by SERCO escort officers to Brighton Magistrates Court where she was remanded into custody at HMP Bronzefield, a private prison run by Sodexo.

Read the rest of this entry