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Prisons: Suicide

Volume 485: debated on Wednesday 17 December 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many self-inflicted deaths there were in (a) all prisons, (b) young offender institutions, (c) male prisons and (d) female prisons in each year since 2003; and if he will make a statement. (243777)

Due to the mixed roll of some prisons and changes in those roles over time the numbers for each category used in this question can be answered in several ways. It would also, as worded, exclude four self-inflicted deaths in custody for the period which occurred while on escort. In order to avoid any ambiguity arising from types of prisons we would prefer to answer gender and age related questions on self-inflicted deaths in the following way and trust that this will suffice.

Self-inflicted deaths by gender and age group

Age range

Gender

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

20081

21 and above

Female

9

12

3

3

8

1

Male

74

77

63

62

77

51

Under 21

Female

5

1

1

0

0

0

Male

6

5

11

2

7

4

Total

94

95

78

67

92

56

1 As at 11 December 2008

The Ministry of Justice and the Prison Service are committed to reducing the number of such tragic incidents. Good care and support from staff save many lives, but such instances go largely unreported. Prisons successfully keep safe in any given month approximately 1,500 prisoners assessed to be at particular risk.