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Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 31st July 2017.

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Photo of Lord Harries of Pentregarth Lord Harries of Pentregarth Crossbench

Her Majesty's Government what is the latest figure for self-inflicted deaths in prisons in the UK; and what steps they are taking to reduce them.

Photo of Lord Keen of Elie Lord Keen of Elie The Advocate-General for Scotland, Lords Spokesperson (Ministry of Justice)

The Government publishes statistics on deaths in custody quarterly, and updated detailed tables annually. These figures cover only England and Wales. They can be viewed at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/632625/safety-in-custody-quarterly-bulletin-mar-2017.pdf

In the twelve months to June 2017, there were 97 apparent self-inflicted deaths in custody.

Improving safety is a priority for this Government. We are investing £100m a year to strengthen the frontline by recruiting around 2,500 more prison officers by the end of 2018. We are rolling out improved training across the estate for staff on suicide and self-harm reduction and have put in place specialist roles - regional safer custody leads - in every region to provide advice to prisons and to spread good practice on identifying and supporting prisoners at risk. We are providing grant funding to the Samaritans to support the prisoner Listener scheme and are providing an additional funding in 2017-18 to fund a number of other projects, including a learning tool for staff and emotional resilience training for prisoners.

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