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26 October 2023

PRT comment: Safety in custody

Responding to the publication of the Ministry of Justice’s Safety in Custody Statistics today, Mark Day, deputy director of the Prison Reform Trust said:

“At a time when the prison system in under severe pressures of under capacity and a lack of staff, it is not surprising that levels of safety are declining so markedly and severely.

“Among a range of worrying indicators, the last year has seen a 24% increase in the number of self-inflicted deaths, a 21% increase in self-harm incidents overall and a shocking 65% rise in women’s prisons. Levels of self-harm are now higher than before the pandemic, and self-harm by women has now reached its highest level on record.

“It is hoped that a range of emergency measures announced last week by the justice secretary should begin to take the pressure of our beleaguered prisons. These troubling statistics underline the urgency of that task.”