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Prisoners: Suicide

Volume 475: debated on Tuesday 29 April 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what steps he is taking to reduce suicides in prison. (201819)

The National Offender Management Service has a broad, integrated and evidence-based prisoner suicide prevention strategy that seeks to reduce the distress of all who live and work in prisons. This encompasses a wide spectrum of prison and Department of Health work around such issues as mental health, drugs, resettlement, leadership and training.

A revised strategy was published in October 2007 with implementation to be completed in every prison by the end of April 2008. This builds on several years of learning from the experiences of prisoners, staff, investigators, inspectors and others, and aims to embed improved suicide prevention and self-harm management methods of working in all areas of prison life. It incorporates the care-planning system for at-risk prisoners, improved cross-agency information flows, and also reflects long-standing areas of safer custody work such as listener and insider peer supporters, local suicide prevention co-ordinators and working with outside organisations.