The Road to Low Newton

Portraits of and interviews with women who have spent time in Low Newton Women’s Prison


In April 2009 I was commissioned by the North East Offender Health Unit, the body responsible for prisoners’ health in facilities in the north east of England, to take a set of portraits and conduct a series of interviews with women who had spent time in Low Newton. Low Newton is a women’s prison in Durham. The purpose of the project was to cast light on the relationship between women’s health, including mental health, and their offending behaviour, and on the impact on women of the experience of custody itself. I tried to create a set of pictures and interviews which bear witness to the psychological truth of these women’s lives, and by doing so to clarify the link between psychological trauma, drug abuse and offending behaviour. All the women have wanted to be identified by their own names.

All the pictures were taken in the women’s homes, mostly in Middlesbrough and Stockton.

A hardback book of the same title was published by The West Pier Press on 11 June 2010 and an audio-visual version is also available. The work was exhibited in Durham Cathedral from 11 June 2010.

The book can be obtained from The West Pier Press via Richard Lister at HPM Limited at £35 plus £3.50 post and packaging. Or for more information please call Richard Lister on 07818 044658.

You can read the preface to the book here.

A selection of pictures and texts were published in the Spring edition of The Paris Review.

No part of this work should be reproduced without my consent.

NHS Press Release

Intro to project on NHS Offender Health Unit website