Inmates held in a women’s prison are making 1,000 calls a month to Samaritans amid record levels of self-harm, increased violence and low safety levels usually only seen in men’s facilities, a damning report has found.
Nearly a third of women held at Foston Hall in Derbyshire, which holds 272 residents, told inspectors they felt unsafe, while the use of force in the prison has doubled over nearly three years and is the highest on the women’s prison’s estate.
The women’s prison and youth offender institute is the first to be given a score of “poor” – the lowest – for the safety of female prisoners, since HM Inspectorate of Prisons developed its current framework more than a decade ago.
Charlie Taylor, HM chief inspector of prisons, said the rating of “poor” for safety levels was a “rare and unexpected finding” in a women’s prison.
Recorded levels of self-harm were also the highest in the women’s estate and two prisoners had taken their own lives since the last official inspection in February 2019, he said.
“As an indicator of the level of distress, women were making 1,000 calls a month to Samaritans. The prison had no strategy to reduce self-harm or improve the care for those in crisis,” Taylor said.
The response to women in crisis was too reactive, uncaring and often punitive, Taylor observed. “This, taken with other safety metrics and observation, meant it was no surprise that in our survey nearly a third of women told us they felt unsafe,” he said.
The report also found that the majority of women who harmed themselves did not have enough support or activity and faced daily frustration in getting the help they needed.
Source: The Guardian, 9 February 2022
There are no comments to display.
Create an account or sign in to comment
You need to be a member in order to leave a comment
Create an account
Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!Register a new account
Already have an account? Sign in here.Sign In Now