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SERIOUS RISE IN NUMBER OF SELF-INFLICTED PRISON DEATHS: TOLL REACHES 29 SO FAR THIS YEAR
10 April 2014
The number of reported self-inflicted deaths has reached 29 so far this year (to 6 April 2014). This is almost three times the number over the same period last year: from 1 January 2013 – 6 April 2013 there were 11 self inflicted deaths in prison.
Since October 2013, when only 1 self-inflicted death was reported, there have been 50 self-inflicted deaths in prison in total. There were 23 over the same period one year ago.
INQUEST would like to know whether recent government changes to treatment of prisoners and funding cuts could be at the root of the sharp increase in numbers.
Deborah Coles, co-director of INQUEST said:
“Prisoners are dying in shocking numbers and it is time to find out why. We are seriously concerned whether harsher regimes introduced by the Justice Secretary on 1 November are having a devastating impact.
“The government must act urgently to examine what has caused such an alarming rise.”
‘You have clearly made yourselves a force to be reckoned with, a powerful instrument for good. In the process you have not only achieved real change in an aspect of our common life which would have commanded little attention or esteem were it not for your efforts, but you have at the same time offered enormous support to those bereaved people who long for a clear verdict on the death in custody of someone who means a great deal to them.’
– Dr Peter Selby, President of the National Council for Independent Monitoring Boards