Pauline Campbell Memorial Lecture: Deborah Coles
Friday 15th October, 3.00pm-4.30pm at the Bluecoat
The Pauline Campbell Memorial Lecture has been set up to honour the work of the late campaigner for prison reform. The lecture is in association with Inquest (a charity that focuses on contentious deaths and their investigation, one that Pauline worked closely with) and is delivered by Deborah Coles, co-director of Inquest.
Pauline’s protesting began when her daughter, Sarah, committed suicide a few days before her nineteenth birthday. Sarah had struggled with a difficult upbringing; her father left when she was four, she was sexually abused as a child, she was raped when she was fifteen and soon turned to drugs to escape from her depression- a fate that ultimately landed her in prison. After being refused a place on a vulnerable prisoners’ wing (fearful of a co-accused acquaintance that she had given evidence against) she died from a prescription drug overdose and thus became the sixth woman to have committed suicide at the prison in a twelve month period. A jury ruled that failure in the duty of care had contributed to her death. From this point on, her mother Pauline arranged a demonstration outside of a prison if a woman had died in there, holding twenty eight all in all. After five years of endless protest, Pauline took her own life and her body was found at her daughter’s grave.
Now Deborah Coles will be exploring Pauline Campbell’s legacy and the wider impact of protest in society. Featured guests will include others who have direct experience of protest and human rights. Tickets cost £3 or £2 for students and other concessions.
Take a look at her Guardian obituary to find out more about this brave and inspiring woman.