Protesters target ‘unsafe’ Durham

The mother of a young woman who died in custody joined a protest
against “unsafe” conditions at Durham Prison women’s unit last

Pauline Campbell, whose 18-year-old daughter, Sarah, died at
Styal Prison in 2003, was protesting after the death on 21 August
of Durham inmate Louise Giles, apparently by suicide.

Last year, the chief inspector of prisons, Anne Owers, said
Durham was “unsuitable” for holding women and recommended its
closure. This week, she called for inmates to be removed as a
“matter of urgency” after an unannounced inspection found that
conditions for the remaining six women had deteriorated.

According to the inspection report, four of the women had been
involved in nearly one-third of the self-harm incidents in the
entire prison from March to May this year, and also accounted for
seven out of 15 suicide attempts in which prisoners had nearly

Phil Wheatley, director general of the Prison Service, said the
women’s unit would close by the end of this month.


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