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Justice Committee takes evidence on safety and wellbeing of women in prison

19 October 2021

The Justice Committee continues its inquiry into women in prisons on Tuesday 19 October when it takesevidence from representatives of the key organisations responsible for oversight of the prison system: the Inspectorate of Prisons, the Independent Advisory Panel on Deaths in Custody, and the Prison and Probation Ombudsman.

Purpose of the session

Questions will focus on a range of issues relating to the safety and wellbeing of women in prisons including measures to reduce self-harm and deaths in custody. The Committee will also investigate what work is being carried out to prevent further deaths of babies in custody – the Prison and Probation Ombudsman having recently published its report into the death of baby A at HMP Bronzefield.

Before that, the Committee will examine the quality of support given to women when they leave prison when the take evidence from representatives of charities The Nelson Trust and Changing Lives. It will examine what measures are being taken to improve access to accommodation upon release and what barriers to effective resettlement remain. It will also look at the impact of the Ministry of Justice’s new probation model in ensuring continuity of care and reducing reoffending.

Witnesses

Tuesday 19 October

Panel 1 (2.30pm-3.30pm)

  • Laura Seebohm, Executive Director Innovation and Policy, Changing Lives
  • Vicky Davis, Eastwood Park Team Manager, The Nelson Trust
  • Dr Jenny Earle, Adviser to the London Prisons Mission (Safe Homes for Women in Prison initiative)

Panel 2 (3.30pm-4.30pm)

  • Sandra Fieldhouse, Inspector, Leader of the Women’s Inspection Team, Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Prisons
  • Juliet Lyon, Independent Advisory Panel on Deaths in Custody
  • Sue McAllister, Prison and Probation Ombudsman

Further information

Image: MoJ