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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.”
‘Let me record my thanks to and appreciation and admiration for the organisation INQUEST… That organisation, which is based in my constituency, has done amazingly good work over a long period in supporting the families of people who have died in custody. Nothing is popular about such cases, but the organisation has been dogged in pursuing them. I think we should appreciate the value of civil society organisations of that kind which do so much to promote decent standards and liberty, and which help the House to produce better legislation.’
– Jeremy Corbyn MP