Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Prison staff "to blame" for prisoner's death?

A truly shocking story in The Times today.

A Coroner's Court jury found that a prisoner at Rye Hill Prison in Warwickshire was allowed to hang himself in a prison staff where staff were not being properly trained and were not experienced enough.

This despite the prisoner's mother alerting staff to marks on the prisoner's neck on a previous visit to her son. He had been exhibiting some strange, troubled behaviour before his suicide.

Thinking point: what are the possible consequences of allowing private companies, which exist to make a profit, to run prisons? The prison in this case was run by Group 4 Securicor which has a chequered history in relation to their prisons.

Thinking point 2: is prison the right place for mentally ill convicts? Is prison picking up some of the slack from the closure of many mental health hospitals over the years? Read a report into suicide in prisons here.

This case is also an example of the use of juries in the Coroner's Court.

Inquest, a pressure group, has called for proper treatment for mentally ill inmates.

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