Women in Prisons are often Women in Shadow

Give our women prisoners the break they’re long overdue


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.”…


One response

  1. Reblogged this on HumansinShadow.wordpress.com.

    November 29, 2015 at 6:38 pm

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