According to Ministry of Justice figures released last Thursday, there has been a 69% rise in suicides in penal institutions in the 12 months ending in March 2014. The Guardian reports on the 30% rise in serious assaults (1,661) and 3 murders over the same period. The Justice Secretary Chris Grayling said 'there was no simple explanation for the increase'.
An editorial in The Independent links the crisis to a general lack of funding for prisons. It goes on to question whether prisons have ever been useful or humane.