How Can We Prevent More Young Women from Dying in Prison?

By Katie Forster |
Feb 19 2016 2:25 PM

female inmatesSarah Reed—a past victim of police brutality—was found dead in a British prison at the age of 32. Campaigners say that her death points to the institutional racism and sexism at the heart of the justice system.

In November 2012, Sarah Reed was dragged by the hair, thrown on to the floor and battered by a police officer, PC James Kiddie, in the back room of a central London clothes shop.

Three years later Reed, who suffered from severe, long-term mental illness, was sent to HMP Holloway, one the UK’s most notorious women’s jails, to await a trial for an assault which her family claims was in self-defence. She was found dead in her cell on 11 January this year.

“If Sarah wasn’t in prison, she wouldn’t have died,” says activist Patricia Lamour, addressing a basement conference room in east London, where around 50 people gathered on Wednesday to launch a justice campaign for Sarah Reed.

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