Inquiry into deaths of women at prison

Home Office minister Paul Goggins launched an investigation into
the death of a female prisoner at HMP Styal in Cheshire last week
after it emerged there have been four deaths at the prison since
the beginning of this year.

The investigation, to be conducted by the prisons and probation
ombudsman Stephen Shaw, will look at the circumstances surrounding
the death of Julie Walsh earlier this month and whether they bear
any similarities to those of recent self-inflicted deaths at

The Howard League for Penal Reform is calling for criminal charges
to be made if managers are found to be culpable and for staff to
face disciplinary measures if they are found to have been

“We have to stop sending women to prison,” said Howard League
director Frances Crook, calling on the courts to use community
sentences instead.

The investigation aims to report to ministers in September.

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