It is a shameful that a woman has been illegally detained for five years in a "squalid" cell in HMP Bronzefield (Report, 22 August). The 2007 Causton report on women in prison legitimately argued that the vast majority of women did not need the physical security provided by the masculine model of prison regimes but required "relational security", a term coined by Wish (Women in Secure Hospitals, of which I was formerly a regional director), based on its years of advocacy work with women both detained in prison and forensic psychiatric hospitals. With the knowledge and training developed by Wish, which has been available to staff working in these services for the past 10 years, there is no excuse for any woman to be abused in this horrendous way. One has to ask what the independent monitoring board ? whose role is to ensure that humane treatment of any "prisoner" is upheld and their human rights are not compromised ? was doing. Laila Namdarkhan Abbots Langley, Herts

© Guardian News & Media Ltd

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