Sadly, another woman has died in prison. We who care about justice and prisons are not going to let this go unchallenged.
As we know, the Home Office as a lot to answer for. We will be there to demonstrate outside the Home Office in London this Thursday 19th. February from 1.p.m until 2.p.m.
On such demonstrations the 'suffragette of penal reform' - our dear friend Pauline Campbell - used to hand over a letter to the person in charge of an institution responsible.
This time the letter will not be in a sealed envelope. What we have to say, this truth, is out in the open for everyone to see. Our government needs to wake up and put an end to the grief. Put an end to the pain.
Here is what we are going to say - the letter contains three important demands for change:
To Jacqui Smith,
We are demonstrating today in protest of yet another death of a woman in prison.
On the 25th. January, 2009 a demonstration was held outside Styal prison in protest against the death of Alison Colk.
On the 30th. January Samantha Dainty died in Foston Hall prison, Derby. Her death was self-inflicted.
After her daughter died in 2003 Pauline Campbell devoted the rest of her life to campaigning against the death of women in prison. Prison does not work, prisons are not safe places for women. Pauline called for alternative ways to tackle this problem.
Surely, by now, lessons should have been learned but already we have two deaths in 2009.
What is needed is courageous action.
1. That women should be placed in smaller units so that they can be nearer their family and friends.
2. The courts should give women community based alternatives to prison.
3. The government should put the recommendations of the Corston report into practice.