Protest against another death in Women’s Prison
Posted by charliegrrl on September 17, 2007
Demonstrators will gather outside Send Prison this Thursday, a women’s prison in Surrey, to protest against the death of Lisa Doe, who died in their custody September 11th. She was found hanging in her cell. Lisa Doe is the 39th woman to have died in prison in the last four years.
The protest will be led by Pauline Campbell whose daughter, Sarah Elizabeth Campbell died in custody four years ago, aged only 18, after taking an overdose. Pauline Campbell has since campaigned against women’s prisons, and has vowed to demonstrate outside any prison in which a woman dies.
Last year, Pauline Campbell held a demonstration outside Eastwood Park Prison, following the death of Lisa Ann Woodhall in custody, and was subsequentially arrested but released without charge.
There are approximately 4390 women in prison in the UK. The most common offence committed by women sent to prison is theft and handling stolen goods. They are most often not a danger to the public. Women who are sent to prison are often incredibly vulnerable women. Self-harm in women’s prisons is commonplace and in some cases results in suicide.
- 70% of women prisoners have mental health problems.
- 37% have attempted suicide.
- At least 50% report being victims of childhood abuse or domestic violence.
Women in Prison argue that women’s prisons do not work in rehabilitating women offenders; that prison in fact exacerbates mental health problems and exacerbates factors such as poverty, homelessness and drug addiction that can lead to offending. They argue that community led, non-custodial provision is the best way to deal with women offenders, for which crime is often part of a complex life of poverty, homelessness, abuse, mental health problems and drug addiction, which prison cannot solve. This way, we could avoid women tragically taking their own lives in prison.
To sign the petition in favour of reform in the way the Criminal Justice System punishes women offenders, please sign here.
Pauline Campbell is calling on people to attend the demonstration September 20th, 1.30pm at Send Prison in Surrey.
If you would like to support the campaign in memory of Lisa Doe and other women who have died in prison, please write to Send Prison, arguing for greater care for women in their prison.
HMP Send, Ripley Road, Send, Surrey, GU23 7LJ
For more information about the campaign led by Pauline Campbell, listen to her on Radio 4 and visit
Photo 1 taken from BBC news, 2nd and third from Indymedia report