NI: Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission criticises conditions for women in prison


The Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission today (Tuesday 19 October) published detailed research into the care of women in prison in Northern Ireland. The report, entitled The Hurt Inside, presents stark findings regarding the lack of progress in areas such as adequate healthcare, which were identified for improvement by the Government’s own prisons watchdog in 2002. The authors of the report for the Commission were Professor Phil Scraton of Queen's University and Dr Linda Moore, an Investigations Worker with the Commission. Phil Scraton commented:

“Interviewing prisoners in Mourne House we found distressed women, some of whom were suffering from mental health problems, who should not have been in prison. We found systemic abuses of human rights including the holding of a 17-year-old girl in solitary confinement, locked alone in a bare cell for 23 hours a day. Deprived of a mattress or bed to sleep on she used a plastic potty for a toilet... The Northern Ireland Prison Service still has no policy or strategic plan for the imprisonment of women and has offered no explanation as to why the needs of women and girl prisoners have not been appropriately addressed.”

The report: The Hurt Inside - the imprisonment of women and girls in Northern Ireland (pdf)

 

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