Women at risk of harming themselves in prison will be the focus of a review of services for female prisoners, a Home Office minister announced on Tuesday.
Fiona Mactaggart told the House of Commons these could be women who were seriously mentally ill, such as those with personality disorders, or with drug addictions.
The review will look at the provision available for such women at each occasion they came into contact with the criminal justice system such as at police stations, at court and in prison.
Mactaggart said the review would complement rather than replicate the work of the women’s offending reduction programme which aims to provide a more appropriate and joined-up response in the community to the particular factors that affect women offenders.
Part of the review will also profile the characteristics and histories of some of the women who have died in custody in recent years, particularly those at Styal prison, and look at the pathway through the criminal justice system that led them to that point.
A review progress report will be produced by June and the final report will be out by he end of this year.