prison deaths April 17
Russell Webster

Russell Webster

Criminal Justice & substance misuse expert and author of this blog.

Latest prison safety figures still shocking

The latest official prison safety statistics are the worst ever although there was a slight reduction in the number of assaults in the last quarter.

Worst figures on record

At the end of last month (27 April 2017) the Ministry of Justice and Office of National Statistics published the latest Safety in Custody Statistics Bulletin, covering deaths in prison custody up to March 2017 and assaults and self-harm to December 2016.

The key findings continue to be shocking, although there is a slight downward dip in the number of assaults in the last quarter:

Deaths

The number and rate of deaths for the most recent year (up to March 2017) are the second highest recorded. Deaths in the most recent quarter are down from the 12 months ending December 2016 but are still the fourth highest on record.

Self-harm

The number of self-harm incidents and those requiring hospital attendance are both the highest recorded. In the most recent quarter, from October to December 2016, self-harm levels were the highest on record, with 10,246 incidents of self-harm and 734 incidents requiring hospital attendance.

Assaults

The most recent quarter saw a decrease in all types of assaults compared to the three-month period from July to September 2016, when all types of assaults were at their highest levels on record. Total assaults fell by 4% across this period while prisoner-on-prisoner and assaults on staff fell by 5%. This is the first quarter that total assaults have decreased since October to December 2014, but should be considered with caution due to potential seasonal effects.

Conclusion

The speed at which prison safety has deteriorated is a cause for major concern with the annual numbers of deaths, suicides, incidents of self-harm and assaults all the highest on record.

It is this situation which led to parliament’s Joint Committee on Human Rights to call on the next government to introduce legislation setting a minimum ration of prison officers to prisoners in every establishment.

We shall to wait until after the election to see whether the new government acts on this recommendation.

 

 

All prison posts are kindly sponsored by Prison Consultants Limited who offer a complete service from arrest to release for anyone facing prison and their family. Prison Consultants have no editorial influence on the contents of this site.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

A bespoke service

We understand that each client has differing needs and concerns. We can assist and discuss with you in advance the likely difficulties and challenges you will face in prison including, Sentence Mitigation Reports, categorisation, disciplinary proceedings, prison transfers, Release on Temporary Licence through to eventual release and living on licence in the community.

First time in Prison?

Steve Dagworthy, founder of Prison Consultants Limited, talks about prison life.