Inquest demands action on Corston review following Styal death

Charity Inquest has urged the government to implement proposed reforms to the women’s prisons system, following the death last week of a 32-year-old woman at Styal prison.

Lisa Marley killed herself at the prison, where 11 women have died since 2000.

The string of deaths at the prison prompted the Home Office to commission Baroness Corston to carry out a view into vulnerable women in prison in 2006.

In her report last March, Corston called for far-reaching reforms including alternatives to custody and the replacement of existing prisons by small units for a small minority of serious and violent female offenders.

In its response to the review, published last month, the government accepted nearly all of the recommendations. It also commissioned a review into the current women’s prisons estate, examining the case for the small units proposed by Corston.

However, Inquest said no resources had been allocated to implementing Corston’s recommendations.

Meanwhile, in a report today, the Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health raised concerns about the lack of government progress on implementing the Corston review.

Chief executive Angela Greatley said: “We are concerned that there are no plans to develop the small, local centres to replace the existing women’s prisons nor to tackle the practice of remanding women in custody when they are charged with an offence that is unlikely to bring a custodial sentence.”

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