Prisoners: Self-harm and Suicide

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

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Conor McGinn Conor McGinn Opposition Whip (Commons)

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps his Department is taking to reduce rates of (a) self-harming and (b) suicide in prisons; and if he will make a statement.

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

Far too many prisoners are self-harming or taking their own life and we know that relationships between staff and prisoners plays an important role in tackling this. We have therefore invested in the recruitment of over 4,500 more prison officers since 2016, an increase which has helped us to roll out the key worker scheme. Key workers provide a consistent individual prison officer with whom prisoners can establish a relationship, build trust and receive encouragement.

We have delivered improved Introduction to Self-Harm and Suicide training to over 25,000 new and existing staff, and we are investing an extra £2.75 billion to modernise prisons, combat drug use and improve the environment in which offenders live.

We are continuing our partnership with the Samaritans, awarding a grant of £500k each year for the three years to 2021. This supports the excellent Listeners scheme, through which selected prisoners are trained to provide emotional support to their fellow prisoners.

Finally, we have also sought to revise and update the Assessment, Care in Custody and Teamwork (ACCT) care planning process designed to manage prisoners at risk of self-harm. Changes to ACCT were piloted between February and June 2019 and, following a full evaluation of the pilot, a revised version will be rolled out across the estate later in the year.

Does this answer the above question?

Yes1 person thinks so

No0 people think not

Would you like to ask a question like this yourself? Use our Freedom of Information site.