Category Archives: Prison Abuse

Transgender prisoner Vikki Thompson did not mean to kill herself

Vikki Thompson

Vikki Thompson

source: The Guardian
published: 19 May 2017

A transgender woman found dead in a male prison did not mean to kill herself and should not have been held in a female jail, a jury has concluded.

Vikki Thompson, a vulnerable 21-year-old who had grown up in and out of care in Keighley, West Yorkshire, was found hanged in her cell in the dark at HMP Leeds on 13 November 2015 after warning several people on her way to jail that she would “leave in a box”, Wakefield coroner’s court heard.

She was in prison after breaching an order relating to a shoplifting conviction and had failed to attend two probation appointments, her partner said. Read the rest of this entry

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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