June 2019

In May 2018, INQUEST published Still Dying on the Inside: Examining deaths in women’s prisons providing unique insight into deaths in women’s prisons based on an examination of official data, INQUEST’s research, casework and an analysis of coroners’ reports and jury findings.

This 2019 briefing provides an update to that report, reflecting on the cases and figures for 2018/2019.

It highlights the findings from inquests that took place between January 2018 and April 2019, including that of Emily Hartley, Annabella Landsberg, Jessica Whitchurch, Natasha Chin, Nicola Jayne Lawrence and Sarah Maria Burke. Also included is updated statistics on the deaths in women's prisons, noting that there have now been 106 deaths (to 10 May 2019) since the 2007 Corston Review.

To prevent deaths in women’s prisons, INQUEST is calling on government and parliamentarians, policy makers, practitioners and campaigners to recognise women’s imprisonment as a form of structural violence against women; honour international treaty obligations to safeguard vulnerable women and girls; and work together towards eradicating outdated and failing women’s prisons.

Deborah Coles, Executive Director, INQUEST said: “INQUEST’s work with bereaved families seeks to make visible the women behind the statistics and the structural issues behind their criminalisation and imprisonment. The situation has never felt so desperate. It is with anger, sadness and deep frustration that we report almost no progress on the necessary systemic and structural change needed."

Download the 2019 briefing