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Prisoners: Suicide

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 29th January 2020.

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Photo of Chris Evans Chris Evans Labour/Co-operative, Islwyn

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many (a) men and (b) women serving custodial sentences died by suicide during their sentence in each month in 2019.

Photo of Lucy Frazer Lucy Frazer The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice

The numbers of self-inflicted deaths of prisoners between January and September 2019 (the most recent month for which figures are available) are shown in the attached table.

Every death in custody is a tragedy, and we are committed to learning lessons from these deaths wherever possible. The Government is investing £2.75 billion to transform the prison estate and bolster security - introducing X-ray body scanners and enhanced gate security - and taking unprecedented action to improve safety in custody.

We have recruited over 4,400 more prison officers since October 2016, and we now have the greatest number in post since early 2012. This is allowing us to implement the key worker role, providing staff dedicated time to support individual prisoners.

We are improving support for prisoners in their early days in custody and developing a new version of the multi-disciplinary ACCT case management process for those at risk of suicide. We have rolled out a revised and improved Suicide and Self-Harm Prevention course. This is being completed by all new staff and as refresher training by all existing staff. Nearly 25,000 staff have already begun this training and over 14,000 have completed all six modules.

Table (Excel SpreadSheet, 9.64 KB)

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