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Self-harm: Incidents

Volume 497: debated on Monday 12 October 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) how many incidents of self-harm by young adult (a) male and (b) female prisoners there were in each year from 2000 to 2005; and if he will make a statement; (288166)

(2) how many incidents of self-harm by juvenile (a) male and (b) female prisoners there were in each year from 2000 to 2003; and if he will make a statement;

(3) how many incidents of self-harm by adult (a) male and (b) female prisoners were recorded in each year from 2000 to 2003; and if he will make a statement.

The information requested in the three questions is combined in the following table. The self-harm incidents are broken down by age and gender and cover the period since 2003, after which improvements in how self-harm is recorded were introduced. These figures are not directly comparable with those recorded before 2003.

Under-18 incidentsYoung offender incidentsAdult incidents

Male

Female

Male

Female

Male

Female

2003

434

430

1,525

1,167

5,711

4,979

2004

464

561

1,584

2,069

6,561

6,294

2005

593

589

1,807

3,206

6,893

8,838

2006

672

291

2,101

2,852

8,073

8,029

2007

488

573

2,007

2,537

7,895

7,822

2008

743

686

1,982

2,990

8,138

8,965

Note:

The data presented are drawn from NOMS administrative IT systems and do not include figures for STCs or SCHs. The detail collected is subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large-scale recording system. While the figures shown have been checked as far as practicable, they must be approximate and not necessarily accurate to the last whole number shown. They are fit to be used for purposes of looking at trends and for comparing the relative magnitude of components.

The National Offender Management Service has a broad, integrated and evidence-based prisoner suicide prevention and self harm management strategy that seeks to reduce the distress of all those in prison. This encompasses a wide spectrum of Prison and Department of Health work around such issues as mental health, substance misuse and resettlement. Any prisoner identified as at risk of suicide or self-harm is cared for using the Assessment, Care in Custody and Teamwork (ACCT) procedures. Most self harm is not directly life threatening, but nevertheless can be extremely distressing for those who have to deal with it. A prisoner focused care planning system for those at risk, ACCT, has helped prisons manage self harm. There are no easy answers to managing self-harming behaviour but we remain committed to finding ways to reduce it.