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25 January 2024

PRT comment: Safety in custody statistics

Responding to the publication of the Ministry of Justice’s Safety in Custody Statistics today, Pia Sinha, chief executive of the Prison Reform Trust, said:

“Today’s figures are a shameful reflection of the state of our prison service. When prisons are this overcrowded, they become completely ill-equipped to deal with the scale of trauma and despair amongst the prison population. Self-inflicted deaths, self-harm and assaults are all up. For women in prison both the number and rate of self-harm are at the highest level ever recorded.

“Prisons are often the place that people find themselves when they have fallen through the cracks of our other social services, but this doesn’t have to be the case. Measures such as Liaison and Diversion, and Community Sentence Treatment Requirements already exist which provide support for people whose offending is linked to or exacerbated by their mental health. The solution to reversing the mental health crisis in our prisons lies in ensuring that these services are given the long-term support they need.”