Female prisoners raging as big knickers run out and they can’t buy more

Female prisoners are up in arms after a shortage of big knickers.

Inmates at HMP Styal, a 480-capacity women’s jail in Cheshire have complained to inspectors that there aren’t enough sizes available. Lags at the jail are only allowed one clothing parcel a year – on their birthday – but otherwise have to order from catalogues.

If they don’t have enough money, they rely on prison-issue gear – which is in short supply, according to the report by inspectors from the Independent Monitoring Board (IMB). In its latest report, inspectors state: "The Board remains concerned about access to clothing.

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"The Board is aware that there is often a shortage of basic clothing such as underwear, nightwear, footwear, coats, and clothing in general for female prisoners.

"There is a limited range of sizes, especially in the provision of underwear." It adds: “Access to suitable prison issue clothing for female prisoners remains a key concern for the board."

Writing about the clothing parcels allowed, the report states: “All prisoners can now receive one clothing parcel per year on their birthday." There have been a whopping 860 official complaints made by lags at the jail in the past year – with 21 specifically about clothing.

Earlier this year, a female inmate with a 36HH bust won a sex discrimination case after jail-issue bras didn’t fit. Inmates are normally allowed 14 pairs of knickers and seven bras – with any excess having to go into storage.

A prison source said that many inmates simply couldn’t afford clothes, adding: "If you have to rely on prison clothes you can expect a mish-mash of sizes, most of which don’t seem to fit anyone."

A spokesperson for the Prison Service said that if an inmate requires clothes of a "non-standard size", governors should ‘allow friends or relatives to hand them into the jail".

Prisons have a duty to provide clothes in a range of sizes which are "clean (and) in good condition" to keep prisoners "warm and healthy".

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