Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Pauline Campbell

It is four years today since Pauline died. Her campaign began when her daughter Sarah was one of six women who died in the notorious prison Styal between 2002and 2003. grave concerns were expressed at that time by Prison Minister, Paul Goggins.He undertook a review of vulnerable women in the Criminal Justice System. Baroness Corston was to be responsible for this  review.It reported its findings and recommendations in March 2007.Radical changes in the treatment of women in prison were urgently needed.
I had accompanied Pauline on 5 May 2008 to a court hearing in Macclesfield where the date for a three day trial was fixed to take place in Knutsford crown court this trial was subsequently called off. Pauline sent me a copy of a report that she had put on line on 3 May2008-- Criminal Trial Abandoned As CPS Comes Under Fire Referring to the Corston Report this is what she said "Demonstrations will continue because where there is injustice there will be protest. The unjust sentencing of vulnerable women; their suffering and deaths - that is the injustice. The way forward is to implement the recommendations of the Corston report but Ministers ' feeble response (December 2007) was to say the recommendations  couldn't be funded, yet it seems money is available to build three new Titan prisons. Forty one women prisoners have died from self inflicted injuries since my daughter's death in January 2003- unless reform is introduced more women will die.""
Five years after Corston  Clive Chatterton who went to Styal as governor at the end of a thirty five year career in men's prisons wrote in the Observer as recently as February 11th 2012 that he was scarred by his experience of running Styal. Nick Hardwick , Chief Inspector of Prisons confirmed this saying he found the plight of women there more shocking and distressing than anything he had ever seen. In the Independent 1 May also 2012 he thought the state of women's jails shames Britain!