Prison that 'looks like Butlins' houses some of UK's most notorious female killers
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The prison that seemingly 'looks like Butlins' is home to some of the UK's most dangerous female killers. Watch below for a sneak peak of Channel 5's new documentary HMP Styal: Women Behind Bars:
The Wilmslow-based institution in the Cheshire countryside holds around 400 inmates and some of Britain's worst female drug dealers, murderers and paedophiles.
However, the Victorian cottage-style blocks, paired with long walk-ways and patches of green grass, make it look far from what we think a typical jail would look like.
The Shawshank-styled prisons are long gone, it seems, and some have gone as far as to suggest that it looks like a holiday resort.
Author and journalist Geoffrey Wansell said: "[When] people think of a prison, they think of it as big bleak, behind huge fences.
"[The] style isn't really like that. It looks a bit more like Butlins."
Despite the so-called similarities to a resort, the prison is far from a holiday getaway.
"We're mixing with women who have killed and raped children. It's not good, especially with women because they are so protective as mums," one inmate says.
The full synopsis for the doc reads: "HMP Styal is one of the most unique and controversial prisons in the UK. Hidden in the Cheshire countryside, it is home to some of Britain’s worst female criminals, including some of Britain’s most detested child killers.
"But unlike many female prisons, there are many different types of prison here, sharing the Victorian cottage-style blocks. Incredibly, mothers who’ve been jailed for murdering their own children are locked up not far from mothers who are serving time with their own children, in Styal’s Mother & Baby Unit.
"In this film, we meet some of HMP Styal’s former staff and ex-inmates, and find out what life is like inside this hidden world.
"Many believe we need to find an alternative solution to incarcerating the majority of women – many of whom are vulnerable and incarcerated for relatively minor offences.
"But as one HMP Styal former prison officer says, ‘What is a Judge supposed to do with a woman who has shoplifted the local supermarket 70 times?’
"HMP Styal: Women Behind Bars raises numerous questions about the subject of women and prison, and shines a light on a completely unique correctional facility."
The documentary will be available to watch on Channel 5 tonight (17 August) at 9.00pm.