Prison staff failing prisoners at risk of suicide

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

The Prisons and Probation Ombudsman has said that prison staff are overlooking obvious warning signs that prisoners might take their own lives, The Huffington Post reports.

Prison staff fail to identify and act on factors that are known to increase risk, such as suicidal behaviour and mental health problems, Ombudsman Nigel Newcomen said. 

Suicide and self-harm in prison have surged over the last three years, with 89 self-inflicted deaths in 2015, and many have linked this to policy and resource decisions by the government.

Earlier this month it was revealed that former Justice Secretary Chris Grayling tried to interfere with inspection reports by outgoing Prisons Inspector Nick Hardwick in an attempt to suppress highly critical findings.

The last edition of our annual UK Justice Policy Review included the first ever UK-wide analysis of suicide, self-harm and assaults in prisons.