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Prisons

We can help with prisoner discrimination and disability cases, prisoner healthcare and human rights claims

Leigh Day's prison team advises on prisoner discrimination and disability cases, prisoner healthcare and human rights claims

Leigh Day’s prison team acts exclusively for people who are in prison or who have been in prison. Our work includes private law claims for compensation, public law claims for judicial review and inquests. We cover a broad range of litigation, but our focus is on discrimination, healthcare and inquest cases.

We are recognised as leading solicitors for this type of work by both independent legal directories in the UK (Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners). We are also members of the Association of Prison Lawyers, which means we are part of a group of specialist prison solicitors.

We can offer legal aid and no win, no fee funding.

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What the directories say

The team is full of great lawyers who are able and passionate about the work that they do.

Legal 500 2021

Find out more about the work we do

We regularly act for prisoners in claims of discrimination including disability, race, religion, sex, age, gender reassignment and sexual orientation. Those claims might include where:

  • There has been a delay or a failure to meet a prisoner’s mobility or personal care needs;
  • There has been a decision to operate a policy or practice which treats a prisoner unfairly because of their age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, sex, or sexual orientation; and
  • There has been a failure to take a prisoner’s age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, sex, or sexual orientation into account when putting a policy or practice into force.

We act in claims of clinical negligence, personal injury and breach of human rights on behalf of prisoners who have suffered injury whilst in prison or whilst in hospital. Examples of such claims include where:

  • There has been a decision to refuse a prisoner access to treatment;
  • There has been a delay or a failure in a prisoner being diagnosed with an illness or receiving treatment for that illness; and
  • There have been mistakes when providing a prisoner with treatment for an illness.

We also represent bereaved families at all stages of Coroner’s Inquest proceedings arising out of deaths in prison, including:

  • Deaths arising from a failure to provide adequate healthcare to a prisoner;
  • Deaths arising from suicide, where there has been a failure to protect the prisoner from suicide or self-harm; and
  • Deaths arising from a failure to protect a prisoner from violence within a prison.

Read our prison team leaflet

News and blogs

Blog Post
Heavily pregnant woman holding her bump
prisoner rights, prisons, women-prisons, pregnancy

Is it time to stop holding pregnant women in prison?

A harrowing report published by the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman reveals major failings in the care and treatment of pregnant women in prison, following the death of a baby born at HMP Bronzefield in 2019. In this blog post, Maya Grantham and Ellie Sutherland consider the failings highlighted by this tragic case and whether it is safe to hold pregnant women in prison.

News Article
Prison Door Lock
Prisons Prisoner rights women-prisoners Pregnancy

Prisoner aged 18 gave birth in HMP Bronzefield cell alone at night

An 18-year-old prisoner gave birth in her cell alone at night and her calls for help went unanswered, the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman has found in a critical report.

Blog Post
Jail Cell
Human rights Prisons Covid-19 Mental Health

Urgent review of COVID restrictions in prisons needed to tackle growing mental health crisis

Benjamin Burrows and Ellie Sutherland discuss the impact of COVID restrictions on the mental health of UK prison inmates

News Article
Prison
Human rights Prisoner rights

Compensation paid to prisoner for religious discrimination

A prisoner has been paid compensation after being unable to fully practise his religion while in prison.