22 year old drug dealer ‘kidnapped Thamesmead couple and threatened them with gun over £40,000 cannabis theft while wearing an electronic tag’

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A thug wearing an electronic tag kidnapped a pregnant woman and her boyfriend, throttled her until she passed out and punched her in the stomach in a row over a £40,000 cannabis theft, a court heard today. Emmanuel Okubote is … Continue reading

The Truth Is Rarely Pure & Never Simple

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We’ve lost over a million government funded council apartments in the last ten years alone. Not a big deal some would say, the government is saving itself and councils a great deal of money as per the maintenance of those … Continue reading

Eritrean Refugees in Israel – 7,000 torture/rape victims – or many more?

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The majority of victims in these camps are Eritrean. Human rights groups in Israel as well as the UN Refugee Agency estimate that 7,000 survivors now live in Israel. Kidane shifts uneasily in her chair at hearing these numbers. She … Continue reading

Babies Behind Bars

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This post is attributed to Maya Oppenheimer & originally appeared on VICE UK.

Pregnancy can be an anxious experience for all women: fears of miscarrying, birth defects, difficult labor, and how you’ll cope are natural when you’re carrying a child. If you’re pregnant in prison, however, natural anxieties can become terrifying. What happens if you can’t get proper healthcare? What happens if you’re not let out of your cell when your waters break? What happens if you miscarry and no one knows what to do?

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Being pregnant in prison comes with myriad fears—most distressing of all is the question of whether you will be able to keep your baby. While female prisoners in the UK are legally allowed to keep their babies for the first 18 months in a secure Mother and Baby Unit, the vast majority of children are separated from their mothers. In turn, many women go into labor knowing that their baby will be lifted from their arms within hours, that they will return to prison later alone, swollen, and lactating.

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According to the NSPCC’s latest report, an average of 100 babies are born in prisons in England and Wales each year. Yet antenatal care in prisons remains substandard. Not only is there no universal standard for what prisons have to provide for pregnant women, there is no legal requirement to offer antenatal classes. You might be bearing a child but you’re a prisoner at all times. Evidence has shown, too, that women inside are more likely to experience birth defects or have stillborn babies than those on the outside.

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