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Prison Suicides/Self-Harm

Volume 405: debated on Thursday 22 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) suicides and (b) incidents of self harm there were among 15 to 17-year-old girls in prison in each year since 1997. [112519]

There have been no self-inflicted deaths in prison of female juveniles in the years since 1997. The following table covers the number of recorded incidents of self-harm by female juveniles between 1998 and 2002. Relevant data on self-harm before 1998 are not available.

Self-harm among female juveniles: 1998–2002


Number of incidents


1 Up to and including December 2002.

The Prison Service has made improvements in the recording of self-harm incidents, including the implementation of a new monitoring system from December 2002.

The Prison Service has a duty of care to all prisoners in its custody and, recognising that self-harm is a particular problem among young female prisoners, is currently developing several interventions that may help them reduce and manage self-harm in prison. One such example is at Holloway prison where all prisoners, including juveniles, who have been identified as at risk of suicide or self-harm are offered individual crisis counselling.