REPORT FINDS THAT LACK OF SUFFICIENT MENTAL HEALTH PROVISION IS THE CAUSE OF THE RISE IN SUICIDES AMONG FEMALE PRISONERS

  • Lack of sufficient mental health provision in UK prisons is deemed to be the cause of the huge rise in suicides among female prisoners. 

    A Prison and Probation Ombudsman, Nigel Newcomen, drew up a bulletin which reviewed 19 cases of female suicides over the last three years; the following were found:

    • A "lack of urgency" among prison staff in response to signs of mental illness
    • Lack of communication between mental health staff and prison officers which could help to avoid suicides
    • For the first time since 2007, the number of female suicides per 1,000 prisoners in 2015 was higher than that among men
    • Overall deaths of female prisoners more than doubled in 2016 and this does not seem to be slowing down
    • Most female deaths are categorised as self-inflicted in contrast to natural deaths among men

    According to the Ministry of Justice data, there are 3,869 female prisoners compared to 80,988 in the male estate which represents 5% of the whole prison population. However, women account for 23% of all incidents of self-harm.

    Mr. Newcomen, said:

    "...It is to be hoped that delivering safer outcomes for women (and men) in prison will be at the heart of the Government's new prison reform agenda, and that this bulletin can assist with this and help to reverse the unacceptable and tragic rise in self-inflicted deaths."

    What do you think?

    Please tweet comments @suppsolutions.

    For more details, visit the Independent.

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