Woman serving eight-week prison sentence found dead in her cell

Women in Prison source: The Guardian
published: 14 August 2015

A woman who was serving an eight-week prison sentence for shoplifting has been found dead in her cell. Anna Graven, 41, was found at Foston Hall prison in Derbyshire. Paramedics tried to revive her but she was pronounced dead a short time later.

Deborah Coles from campaign group INQUEST said the death was deeply shocking. “It is a really alarming case and we have to question why women are still being locked up for non-violent crimes when they could be successfully accommodated in the community,” she said.

Over the past decade a series of inquiries and reports have concluded that prison is rarely a necessary, appropriate or proportionate response to women caught up in the criminal justice system.

The justice select committee inquiry into women offenders in 2014 concluded that “prison is an expensive and ineffective way of dealing with many women offenders who do not pose a significant risk of harm to public safety”.

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