Prisoners: Suicide

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 27th January 2015.

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Photo of Dan Jarvis Dan Jarvis Shadow Minister (Justice)

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps he plans to take to reduce the number of suicides within prisons in England and Wales.

Photo of Andrew Selous Andrew Selous Assistant Whip (HM Treasury), The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

Every death in custody is a tragedy, and the Government is committed to reducing the number of self-inflicted deaths in prisons.

All prisons are required to have procedures in place to identify, manage and support people who are at risk of harm to themselves. Building on this, the National Offender Management Service (NOMS) has put in place additional resources for safer custody work in prisons and at regional level. These staff support safer custody work in prisons and share good practice across establishments. NOMS will be conducting a review of the operation of the Assessment Care in Custody & Teamwork (ACCT) process in 2015.

Young adults are a particularly challenging and vulnerable group, and that is why we have commissioned an independent review into the deaths of 18 to 24-year-olds in prison custody. This review will report in the Spring.

Strenuous efforts are made to learn from every self-inflicted death, and we have accepted and acted on the vast majority of recommendations from recent investigations by the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman.

Data on deaths in custody is published quarterly in the Safety in Custody Statistics Bulletin, available at www.gov.uk/government/publications/safety-in-custody-statistics.

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