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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.”
‘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