Women in Prisons are often Women in Shadow

Give our women prisoners the break they’re long overdue

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/nov/29/give-women-prisoners-a-break

Give our women prisoners the break they’re long overdue

Sunday 29 November 2015

If Michael Gove is serious about leaving a legacy he should reduce the number of females held in jail

Every few weeks in the library of HMP Holloway, the charity Women in Prison has a meeting of prisoners who contribute features, poems, jokes and illustrations to the charity’s magazine.

Petty theft, substance misuse, self-harming, the agonising loss of children taken away for adoption, the worry that release from prison may mean homelessness and the fear that others will discover you’ve done time – all get pushed aside. These women overflow with enthusiasm and capabilities and a desire to prove that they are so much more than the labels stuck on them – vulnerable, chaotic, mentally unstable, “bad”. It is a privilege to witness.

What they need is a break – and for the first time in British penal history, with verve and imagination, it could happen. British prisons are designed by men, for men. Twenty-five years ago, the eminent criminologist Professor Pat Carlen called for the abolition of women’s prisons for all but a minority and their replacement with a system that is “woman-wise and otherwise”. …

!…violent offences; 40% of female prisoners have a drug problem (28% of men); 30% have an alcohol problem (19% of men). Half of women inside have experienced domestic violence. Women make up 5% of the prison population but account for 26% of the cases of self-harming.”…

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/nov/29/give-women-prisoners-a-break
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One response

  1. Reblogged this on HumansinShadow.wordpress.com.

    November 29, 2015 at 6:38 pm

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