HM Prison Styal
|Security class||Female/Closed Category|
|Population||459 (as of March 2007)|
|Managed by||HM Prison Services|
|Website||Styal at justice.gov.uk|
The prison occupies some former buildings of the Styal Cottage Homes. These opened as an orphanage for destitute children from the Manchester area in 1898. In 1956 this closed and the site re-opened as a women's prison in 1962, with women transferred from HMP Strangeways.
From 1983 Styal began holding young offenders, and in 1999 a wing was added to accommodate unsentenced female prisoners following the closure of Risley's remand centre. This increased the size of the prison by 60%.
In June 2003, Styal Prison was singled out as having one of the worst records for suicides in England and Wales. The Howard League for Penal Reform called for an independent inquiry into the jail, stating that bullying, drugs and overcrowding were probable causes for the high number of deaths.
In June 2004, an inspection report from Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Prisons, stated that inmates at Styal Prison were being put at risk by a lack of support during drug withdrawal and with mental health problems. The report also expressed concern about the use of special cells to hold disruptive prisoners, including self-harmers. However, the report did praise the prison's staff-prisoner relations, education provision and resettlement services. The Chief Inspector also said that race relations at Styal were "among the best" she had seen.
The prison today
Styal is a Closed Category prison for sentenced and remanded female adults and young offenders. There are also facilities for mothers with babies up to age 18 months.
The education provision at Styal is contracted out to The Manchester College. Courses offered include hairdressing, information technology, art and design, ESOL, catering, industrial cleaning, painting & decorating, and Open University support.
A Visitors Centre is available, run by Contact Cheshire Support Group with play area and refreshments. In the main Visits Hall, facilities include a tea bar and a children's play area (also run by Contact Cheshire Support Group).
In popular culture
- The prison was featured in the BBC2 documentary Women on the Edge – the Truth about Styal Prison on February 27, 2006
- Chanelle Hayes was born in Styal Prison on 11 November 1987. Chanelle's mother was a serving prisoner at Styal at the time