Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

2 in 3 Women at Jail Victims of Domestic Abuse

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

2 in 3 Women at Jail Victims of Domestic Abuse

Article excerpt

TWO-THIRDS of women entering Styal prison said they had experienced domestic violence and almost a fifth admitted to having been involved in sex work, a new report reveals.

The shocking figures were supplied by the jail to HM Inspectorate of Prisons for inclusion in its latest report, published today.

All women are surveyed on arrival and during the inspection in April and May, the prison's population was 441.

The Cheshire jail - the only women's prison in the region - was praised for its conditions in the report, which says it provides a 'safe and decent' environment which 'emphasised aspiration and hope.' .

Peter Clarke, HM Chief Inspector of Prisons, said 'nearly all' women arrive with significant needs, including histories of suicide attempts and selfharm, mental health issues and substance abuse and experience of 'trauma and abuse.' .

' But he praised staff for their professionalism,The focus on aspirations excellent, as use of peer Peter Clarke, Inspector Prisons competence and commitment, saying levels mirrored the findings of the last inspection in 2014.

The report highlighted the introduction of new programmes for domestic violence victims, with further support offered by psychologists.

Use of a nationally-accredited scheme to help women who were involved in sex work was also praised.

The report revealed 'very high' levels of self-harm, with 735 incidents reported in the six months to March, although they were 'often accounted for by a small number of women'.

There has been one 'self-inflicted death' at Styal since 2014.

Overall the report said an 'extensive range of interventions' was available to support women vulnerable to selfharm, raising was was the mentors HM Chief of including programmes of daily activities, support groups and a specialist selfharm programme. Inspectors found a 'strong focus on decency' with the amount of time women spend out of cells said to be 'better than inspectors often see. …

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