9 February 2022

HM Inspectorate of Prisons have today published a damning report on an inspection of HMP Foston Hall in Derbyshire, alongside a very concerning briefing paper on women’s prisons more broadly. 

Deborah Coles, Director of INQUEST, responded:

“Foston Hall prison is a dangerous and harmful place for women. Horrendous rates of self-harm, exacerbated by the impact of Covid and restricted regimes, punitive treatment and segregation for women in crisis. This is inhumane and unjust. 

 The reality for many women in prison is stories of domestic violence, abuse, addictions and mental ill health. Ministers continue to expand the women’s prison estate and ignore the compelling evidence from inquests, inspections and reviews of the urgent need for structural change.

Government must work across health, social care and justice departments to dismantle failing women’s prisons and invest in specialist women’s services. Without this the harms, deaths and devastating impact on women and their families will continue.”



For more information contact [email protected]

In Foston Hall there have been 11 deaths of women since 2015. Of these, seven were self-inflicted, one related to other non-natural causes, one awaits classification, and the two most recent deaths were non-self-inflicted.  

critical inquest on the death of Caroline Ann Hunt in Foston Hall in 2015 found took her own life in part because the risk of her doing so was not adequately recognised and appropriate precautions were not taken to prevent her doing so. 

Inquests on more recent deaths in Foston Hall are awaited. 

Also see our live data on deaths in women’s prisons across the estate.