Focus on women's prisons: A briefing paper from HM Inspectorate of Prisons

Date of publication
09 February 2022

This briefing paper describes the findings, best practice and key areas for improvement from inspections of five women’s prisons: HMP Send, HMP & YOI Low Newton, HMP & YOI Downview, HMP & YOI Styal and HMP & YOI Foston Hall.

Read the briefing paper. (602 kB)

The paper sets out some common issues for women in prison, summarises the main findings from the five inspections, and highlights examples of good practice which improved outcomes for women.

It concludes that:

“Our inspections have found some areas of positive and developing practice but also key inconsistencies in outcomes that cannot be defended. There is no doubt that the last year has been a difficult one for many women in prison given the restricted regime in place to manage COVID-19, not least the limitations on face-to-face contact with their children. However, other weaknesses we report are not a result of COVID-19 restrictions. Clear and committed leadership is needed to address these weaknesses and promote more positive outcomes.”