Homeless women leaving prison contributes to reoffending, say Bronzefield IMB

The Independent Monitoring Board (IMB) for HMP/YOI Bronzefield have published their Annual Report for 2015 – 2016.

Many of the staff across the prison go above and beyond what would normally be expected when providing help and support to the many vulnerable women in prison.

Since the closure of HMP Holloway the number of prisoners has increased. This has placed additional pressure on all departments of the prison.

The IMB questions the Minister for Justice about the critical lack of suitable housing for released prisoners noting that some 50% of women leave prison homeless.

The Board repeats its question of 2014/2015 to the Minister about the provision of suitable secure accommodation for women with severe mental illness. The lack of secure beds for them means too many wait months in prison pending transfer to hospital.

Sandra Mooney, Chair of the IMB at Bronzefield said: “The management and staff at Bronzefield Prison work hard to provide a safe and positive environment for the women prisoners. We remain very concerned about the provision of secure facilities for women with mental illness who are in prison. The lack of accommodation for so many released prisoners is of great concern to the IMB Board and undoubtedly contributes to reoffending”.