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Prisoners: Suicide

Volume 472: debated on Tuesday 26 February 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many prisoners in each contracted-out prison (a) committed suicide, (b) attempted suicide and (c) deliberately self-harmed in each of the last five years. (188306)

In response to parts (a) and (c) of the question, the following tables list (i) the numbers of self-inflicted deaths and (ii) the numbers of self-harm incidents, for the 11 contracted prisons in England and Wales. Regarding part (b) of the question, attempted suicide is not recorded in prisons as it is not possible to measure suicidal intent.

(i) Self-inflicted deaths1

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

Altcourse

2

0

4

0

0

Ashfield

0

0

0

0

0

Bronzefield

0

0

0

0

0

Doncaster

1

0

1

1

0

Dovegate

0

0

0

1

0

Forest Bank

1

0

0

0

1

Lowdham Grange

0

0

1

0

0

Parc

0

0

0

2

0

Peterborough

0

0

0

0

1

Rye Hill

0

0

1

1

0

Wolds

0

0

0

0

0

Percentage of all self-inflicted deaths

4

0

9

7

2

1 The Prison Service/NOMS definition of self-inflicted deaths is broader than the legal definition of suicide and includes all deaths where it appears that a prisoner has acted specifically to take their own life. This inclusive approach is used in part because inquest verdicts are often not available for some years after a death (some 20 per cent. of these deaths will not receive a suicide or open verdict at inquest). Annual numbers may change slightly from time to time as inquest verdicts and other information become available.

(ii) Recorded self-harm incidents1

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

Altcourse

168

166

122

219

215

Ashfield

286

239

172

224

142

Bronzefield

0

274

831

1,165

1,743

Doncaster

318

370

336

276

269

Dovegate

163

100

174

210

156

Forest Bank

214

257

200

333

317

Lowdham Grange

4

16

19

30

42

Parc

326

251

368

285

189

Peterborough

0

0

973

1,329

1,245

Rye Hill

46

147

198

85

86

Wolds

10

6

6

16

19

1 The Prison Service/NOMS defines self-harm as any incident where a prisoner deliberately harms themselves irrespective of method, intent or severity of any injury. The numbers of self-harm incidents reported here are based on information supplied by prisons through the Prison Service Incident Reporting System. Many self-harm incidents often involve the same individuals, and changing numbers of incidents at different prisons can reflect the movement of such prisoners. Self-harm is a high volume incident that can be subject to technical and recording problems. While the system provides a sensible indication of the scale of self-harm the numbers of incidents should not be treated as absolute.