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Children: Secure Institutions

Volume 691: debated on Wednesday 9 May 2007

asked Her Majesty's Government:

How many children have attempted suicide in the past 12 months in (a) young offender institutions; (b) secure training centres; and (c) local authority secure children's homes in England and Wales; and [HL2670]

How many children have self-harmed, excluding attempted suicide, in the past 12 months in (a) young offender institutions; (b) secure training centres; and (c) local authority secure children's homes in England and Wales. [HL2671]

Her Majesty's Prison Service does not distinguish attempted suicide from self-harm. There is no definition of what constitutes an attempted suicide, as it is very difficult to measure suicidal intent.

Her Majesty's Prison Service only holds estimates of the number of individuals who self-harm. The exact information requested can therefore not be provided.

The Youth Justice Board has been compiling quarterly figures of incidents of self-harm in secure training centres since March 2006. Figures up to 31 December 2006 are in the Library. Statistics relating to self-harm in local authority children's secure homes were not previously held centrally, and figures for the past 12 months could be collated only at disproportionate cost. However, on 1 April 2007, the Youth Justice Board introduced a new data collection system for all establishments in the secure estate for children and young people, which will capture information on self-harm.