Stand By Your Man - By Prisoner Ben Gunn

We have an excellent newpaper in prison called Inside Time. There is a link to it on this blog.

The July issue carries a front page story about Women in Prison, not a topic widely discussed in the media. Consider this:

11,000 women are received into custody each year, and two thirds of them are sentenced to custody for a period of 6 months or less.

Over 17,000 children are separated by from their mothers by imprisonment each year and only 9% of them are looked after by their fathers. This poses the question of why men find it so difficult to look after their offspring when their partner is incarcerated.

In this prison the visits room is full of women visiting their partners and bringing the kids in to visit their dad. It is a sad fact that many women in prison are deserted by their partners, unless they also are women!

Why is it that men find it so hard to stay the course? And when it costs around £56,415 a year to keep a woman in prison, why lock her up at all, given the fact that the cost to her family (children taken into care etc.) is even higher?