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Prisons: Mental Health Provision

Volume 624: debated on Tuesday 25 April 2017

Prisoners are more likely to have mental health problems than the broader population. We are looking at custody and community for improving the mental health offering. We are looking at a community protocol to be followed and enhancing custodial mental health services.

There were 119 prison suicides in 2016—an increase of 32% on the previous year—and cases of self-harm were up by 19%, at more than 10,000. Does the Minister agree that these are appalling statistics? What are the Government going to do to address this human misery?

Each and every one of those cases is a human tragedy, and I have looked at a large number of them in detail. Indeed, last week I was at HMP Downview, a women’s prison at which a suicide took place. We are investing in better healthcare facilities at that prison, and I am also looking at access to secure accommodation across the country, because that might well be an issue.