2011 Annual Human Rights Lecture

The Commission is delighted to announce that Dame Anne Owers is delivering the 2011 Equality and Human Rights Commissions Annual Human Rights Lecture.

Formerly Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Prisons, Dame Owers is the Chair of Clinks which supports voluntary sector organisations working with offenders and their families.

Tonight in Cardiff (May 11) she will be talking about her life and work, and about how important human rights are in todays world, particularly regarding offender rehabilitation.

Statistics about the prison population show that [1]:

  • 15% of prisoners report a disability.
  • A quarter of newly-sentenced prisoners reported a long-standing physical disorder or disability.
  • 20-30% of prisoners have learning difficulties.
  • Three quarters of prisoners have at least one mental health disorder.
  • Over half of women in prison have experienced intimate violence, and one in three have experienced sexual abuse.
  • One in four women in prison have spent time in local authority care as a child.

Kate Bennett, National Director for Wales, Equality and Human Rights Commission, said:

‘We are delighted that Dame Anne Owers is delivering our annual lecture this evening.

Prisons are public services and they should cater for a wide range of prisoners including women, ethnic minorities, disabled and young people.

Being sent to prison is the punishment. Our aim should be to reduce reoffending and this means assessing and trying to meet prisoners needs. And some of those with the greatest needs end up in our prisons.

In places out of the public eye, it is important that human rights principles of dignity and respect are upheld. Human rights are not earned, but there for all of us including those who are in prison.’

Ends

Notes for Editors

Please contact Saska Shepherd on 02920 447787, mobile 07875765953 for more information.

View more information about Clinks and Dame Anne Owers.

[1] The statistics can be found in the Commissions full online report How Fair is Britain? Chapter 7: Legal Security pages 170-171.

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