In a recent Channel 5 series titled HMP Styal: Women Behind Bars, the realities of prison life for a lady who killed a 1-year-old little daughter was exposed.
The “mother of all jails,” HMP Styal, which houses some of the most despised female murders in Britain, was the subject of a Channel 5 documentary on Thursday. Brockhill was placed under surveillance for her own safety.
Around 400 convicts, including some of the most despised female murders in Britain, are housed in Styal, a facility near the Cheshire town of Wilmslow.
But at first appearance, the jail doesn’t appear to be your standard wing because many of the inmates are housed. The journalist Geoffery Wansell noted in the video that the area “looks a bit more like Butlins – it’s a village with lots of village greens, in a way, but where some monsters lie.”
The prisoner, who remained unnamed in the programme, said: “It’s dormitory type, ladies may go to and from work and have freedom to move around at night. The houses inside the prison are self contained units. You collaborate to keep the house running; the sense of community is strong yet overt.
There are 17 girls living in one house; as a result, there is a lot of bullying from those who believe they are in charge.
But the women who have committed the ‘worst crimes’ are separated in Styal for their own protection, the inmate added: “There is a prisoner code.”
The weight wing in Styal, which an inmate described as a large wing with two storeys and roughly 80 cells on each side, will house high profile cases. She also mentioned that inmates on the wing would be permitted to leave their cells once a night for an hour so they could take a shower and make phone calls.
The wing, according to her, was among the “dirtiest and most repulsive” places she had ever seen. Women need to detox, they have mental health issues, and there are paedos, murders, and child killers, she stated. There are nit combs in the showers, and the mattresses are covered with blood and scabies. On landing, many are puking.
“We’ve been covered in blood, excrement, trying to save women’s lives – you don’t think about yourself.”
The documentary was broadcast on Channel 5 on Wednesday (17 August) at 9.00pm.