INQUEST responds to latest MOJ Safety in Custody stats
The Ministry of Justice today released the latest statistics on safety, deaths and self harm in custody. Statistics show the rate of self-inflicted deaths has more than doubled since 2013, and the number of incidents of self-harm has reached a record high. There were 113 self-inflicted deaths in the 12 months to March 2017, 10 of which were in the female estate.
Deborah Coles, Director of INQUEST says:
“These shocking figures reflect the desperate reality of prison life characterised by suicide, self-harm and violence and the failure to protect those in its care. Prisons are places where the safety and dignity of prisoners is increasingly under threat.
Politicians need to address this failing system and the associated economic and human costs. Prison is an ineffective and expensive intervention that fails in its stated aims. It fails to rehabilitate, thereby failing victims and communities. Until there is a dramatic reduction in the use of prison and a redirection of resources into radical community alternatives, then the death and harm will continue.”
‘The decision to publish the Cass report is an extraordinary victory for INQUEST… Belatedly, it lifts another layer of camouflage from the secrets, lies and impunity that prevail in large sections of the British state and make such terrible events not merely possible but more likely…What INQUEST, Celia Stubbs and countless others around the world – say, the Mothers and Grandmothers of the Disappeared in Argentina – keep reminding us is not just that the instincts of the powerful are wrong, but that they can also be defeated, however long it may take.’
– David Ransom, friend of Blair Peach and former editor of New Internationalist magazine