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MOJ reports a further rise in prison deaths, self-harm and record high rates in homicide
28 January 2016
Statistical data published by the Ministry of Justice has revealed a further increase in the number of prison deaths, incidents in self-harm and assaults (also includes figures for Immigration Removal Centres operated by NOMs). Alarmingly, homicides are at record high rates.
The most concerning figures are as follows.
In the 12 months to December 2015 there were:
- 257 deaths in prison custody, which is an increase of 14 more deaths compared with December 2014;
- 89 recorded self-inflicted deaths, the same as in 2014;
- 8 apparent homicides, up from 3 on the same period in 2014;
- 14 other deaths, an increase of 8 since 2014.
In the 12 months to end of September 2015 there were:
- 30,706 reported incidents of self-harm, up by 5,945 incidents (24%) on the same period in 2014;
- 23,291 reported incidents of self-harm by male prisoners, up 5,219 incidents (29%) in the previous year;
- 7,415 incidents of self-harm by female prisoners, up 726 incidents (11%) on the same period in 2014.
In the 12 months to September 2015 there were:
- 18,874 assault incidents, up 19% from 15,886 incidents in the same period of 2014;
- 2,606 serious assaults, up 30% on the same period of 2014.
INQUEST has been monitoring the deaths across prison institutions. In 2015 there were seven deaths of women, and another two in January 2016. Our statistics also reveal a concerning number of deaths in the following prisons (figures recorded from 2010 - 22.01.2016):
‘My congratulations to all involved in this 30 year battle for disclosure [of the Cass report on the death of Blair Peach] … it was this awful state of affairs which led those of us who founded INQUEST to set it up. But it is mind-boggling to think that we were still arguing over this report 30 years later.’
– Terry Munyard, barrister at Garden Court Chambers and founding member of INQUEST