Prisons: Suicides - Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 3:18 pm on 31 January 2024.

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Photo of Lord Ponsonby of Shulbrede Lord Ponsonby of Shulbrede Shadow Spokesperson (Justice), Shadow Spokesperson (Home Affairs) 3:18, 31 January 2024

My Lords, in recent weeks, I have met two young female prison officers who have dealt with suicide and attempted suicide. We have heard from the noble and right reverend Lord, Lord Harries of Pentregarth, about the increase in suicide and self-harm. My noble friend Lord Harris alluded to the reduction in experience of prison officers. The figures are that the number of prison officers with 10 years’ or more experience fell from 34% to 28% in the 12 months to December 2023. Does the noble and learned Lord accept that these two facts are linked? What is he doing to try to increase the length of time that prison officers stay in the service?