Should Women Go To Prison?
11 September 2018, 07:26 | Updated: 11 September 2018, 08:37
Heart's been told women on shorter sentences shouldn't serve time in prison.
After three women died in prison's in England within 10 days, Heart has been told ALL large women's jails - like Drake Hall in the West Midlands - should close.
Francis Crook, who is the Chief Exec of prisons charity The Howard League, believes the majority of non-violent offenders are only a risk to themselves.
We've been speaking to a couple of former inmates from the West Midlands about their experiences. They agree that women in shorter sentences are more likely to re-offend and spend their lives in and out of jail.
After 3 women died in prisons in England in 10 days, @TheHowardLeague has told Heart ALL large women’s jails should close— West Mids News (@HeartWMidsNews) September 11, 2018
Hayley was one of the #WestMidlands’ most prolific shoplifters - she was in jail 10 times on short sentences & says there’s got to be a better way pic.twitter.com/ESSBnQqMC4
Figures reveal 70& of women on short sentences are likely to re-offend again in the 12 months after being released.
This woman has been helped by Birmingham-based charity Anawim since coming out of prison. She told us you can just tell the ones who will be back.
This morning, we're exploring whether women on short sentences should even go to prison— West Mids News (@HeartWMidsNews) September 11, 2018
Charity @TheHowardLeague told us it could do more harm than good
This woman from the West Mids has served time in prison - we've distorted her voice to protect her I.D #HeartNews pic.twitter.com/1aoq4F2lpH
Rates of self harm are five times higher in women's prisons than in men's.
Our reporter Emma Reid has been exploring the topic of women in prisons by speaking to a range of people involved in or affected by the criminal justice system. She's spoken to former inmates, the Howard League for Penal Reform, the former governor of HMP Holloway and the mother of a woman who died in prison.
Do women's prisons work?— West Mids News (@HeartWMidsNews) September 11, 2018
Our reporter @emmareid123 has been exploring this by speaking to former inmates from the #WestMidlands, @TheHowardLeague & former governor of HMP Holloway #WomeninPrison #HeartNews https://t.co/07wp8My6JO
The Justice Minister told Heart the government is reforming its approach to women's prisons, admitting many inmates would be better dealt with outside prison.