Pauline Campbell sent me the following. It is about the death of the sixth woman to die in prison during 2007. Pauline also traces the history of Holloway in respect of the death of women prisoners. I think the news got hidden under that of the new leader, weather and attacks on British cities. Seems that the Times on Line just found space to devote a couple of lines, no other trace. No further comment.
TO PROTEST AGAINST THE DEATH OF ANOTHER WOMAN PRISONER
Marie Cox, aged 34
died on 30 June 2007, while in the ‘care’ of Holloway Prison, London
Demonstration will take place on Monday 9 July 2007
at 1.00 pm, for the duration of the afternoon,
outside HMP & YOI Holloway, Parkhurst Road, London, N7 0NU
Banners will be displayed, and flowers laid in memory of Marie
Reporters/photographers are welcome to attend
Already six women have died in prison this year: Marie Cox is the sixth woman to die. (In 2006, three women prisoners died.)
The demonstration will be led by Pauline Campbell, mother of Sarah Elizabeth Campbell, 18, who died in the so-called care of HMP & YOI Styal on 18 January 2003.
The demonstration on 9 July 2007 will be the 25th demonstration to be held outside women’s prisons in England since protests began in 2004.
To date, Pauline Campbell has been arrested 14 times, and is currently awaiting criminal trial at North Avon Magistrates’ Court following a demonstration outside HMP & YOI Eastwood Park on 24.01.07 to protest against the death of Caroline Powell, 26 (mother of five children), who was on remand, and therefore legally innocent, when she died.
Figures refer to apparently self-inflicted deaths, England and Wales.
INFORMATION RE HOLLOWAY PRISON
(1) Times Online (News in Brief), dated 02.07.07 (“Prisoner hanged”) states Marie Cox was awaiting sentencing for trespassing with intent.
(2) Previous prison-death demonstrations at HMP Holloway:
(a) 26 April 2004, following the death of Julie Angela Hope, aged 35
(b) 27 May 2004, following the death of Heather Waite, aged 28 –
(c) 9 November 2005, following the death of Karen Ann Fletcher, aged 30
(3) HMP Holloway – “one woman remains in a coma after being cut down from a makeshift noose” (May 2004)
* Waite = correct spelling of surname (Home Office notification of death was incorrect)
(i) Despite the fact that “crime has fallen by 35% since 1997” (The Observer, 08.04.07), Labour has presided over a shameful increase in the number of women sent to prison. In 1997, when Labour took office, 2,629 women were locked up. There are now 4,390 women and girls in prison (as at 29.06.07). Yet there has been no equivalent increase in the number of women committing offences, or of women committing more serious crimes. The culprit is Labour’s get-tough sentencing policy.
(ii) The number of women in prison has increased far more rapidly than the number of men: over the past decade there has been a 126% increase in the number of women in prison, compared with a 46% rise in men in jail.” Source: The Guardian, 13.03.07: (Q & A: Women in prison).
“Marie Cox’s tragic death is a glaring reminder that women continue to be detained in prisons that cannot meet their human needs. Thirty-eight women prisoners have died since my daughter’s death in 2003. There has been an appalling failure to learn lessons.
“Ms Cox was owed a legal duty of care, and had a right to life under Article 2, European Convention on Human Rights. The Rule of Law and the protection of human rights apply to everyone equally, whether or not detained in Her Majesty’s Prisons.
“The needless imprisonment of many women offenders, and the State’s culpability in the ill-treatment of vulnerable people held in its care and custody is abhorrent, and must stop. Meanwhile, prison-death demonstrations will continue as and when necessary: where there is injustice there will be protest.
“The right to peaceful protest is a traditional and legitimate expression of a point of view, protected by the European Convention on Human Rights. I will continue to exercise that right, despite my forthcoming criminal trial (“aggravated trespass”) at North Avon Magistrates’ Court on 26/27 September 2007. The maximum punishment for the offence is three months’ imprisonment. It is an affront to the principle of access to justice that I have been denied legal aid.” [Pauline Campbell]
USEFUL CONTACT DETAILS
INQUEST, London – www.inquest.org.uk
Non-governmental organisation that works directly with bereaved people following a death in custody
The Howard League for Penal Reform – www.howardleague.org
The oldest penal reform charity in the UK
[Bereaved mother of Sarah Elizabeth Campbell, 18, who died in the ‘care’ of HMP & YOI Styal, 18.01.03]
Trustee of The Howard League for Penal reform
Awarded The 2005 Emma Humphreys Memorial Prize http://www.emmahumphreys.org/
2 July 2007