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For immediate release: Sinn Féin MLA seeks urgent meeting with women prisoners over prison conditions.

5 July, 2007

Sinn Féin women's spokesperson Jennifer Mc Cann MLA has welcomed the damning report into the conditions for women in Hydebank Wood Prison,

Speaking today from the assembly, the Sinn Féin MLA said,

"The conditions suffered by women prisoners in Hydebank are appalling and atrocious. I welcome Monica Mc William's report and I have requested a meeting with the prisoners on behalf of my party.

"The report details the inhumane nature of locking women in isolation for periods of time, the humiliation of strip searches, the lack of contact with families and the association with male prisoners to and from court.

"Women who have been charged for not paying fines are going to jail which is certainly unacceptable and also women with severe mental health problems are not receiving the care they need.

"As a former political prisoner I can empathise with the women regarding these degrading conditions. These conditions were unacceptable in the past and must be challenged in 2007."

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