We can't keep locking up 85,000 people today knowing that hardly any of them will manage to find work and that around 50% of them will be back in again within a year of release. There are currently too many people in prison, and we have a system that seems to keep bringing them back there time and time again--that has to stop. Prison reform means fewer prisons and better prisoners.
The existence of babies in prison can be traced to the earliest types of prison. There is evidence of a baby born in a prison in the 18th century in England and Wales. Across the world prisons included nurseries in the early 20th century, however over the past few years there has been a more punitive approach.
While there are many organisations, researchers and practitioners interested in issues relating to women in prison; there is a need for more in depth and strategic direction. While solitary confinement and isolation is often promoted by human rights organisations, the cases they use are examples that are not necessarily relevant for all women in prison.
Over half of the 50 prisoners interviewed for the study reported three or more mental health problems including anxiety, depression, anger, difficulty in concentration, insomnia, and an increased risk of self-harm. Almost half of the 49 officers interviewed said that they would benefit from more mental health training and that further training should be offered.
I was lucky and never had any of the frightening effects spice can have, but I saw others who used it have 'spice attacks'. It's like they were having heart attacks, not knowing where they were, collapsing. Men would smoke half a gram in one go. They'd wander out of the cell, and the next thing they'd be on the floor or in health care. A lot would call for their mums.
One of the most useful skills I learnt during over a decade in prison was to be thankful that things weren't even worse. In psychology this is known as comparing down and helps make you grateful for what you have. Comparing down was a skill that I learnt in New Zealand's toughest maximum-security prison, Paremero.
In her first ever visit to a prison, the Duchess of Cambridge today visited Send Prison in Surrey to view the RAPT addiction treatment programme. This is a huge honour for us - we are flattered that the Duchess has chosen to come and look at how we help women prisoners to confront and overcome addiction to drugs and alcohol, and to build a positive and crime free life.