Thursday, July 12, 2007


Suicide link to prison overcrowding

‘Prison overcrowding is contributing to a sharp rise in inmate suicides in jails in England and Wales, the Chief Inspector of Prisons said today.

So far this year, some 50 prisoners have taken their own lives, compared to 67 in the whole of last year.

If deaths continue at the same rate, it would reverse a trend which has seen prison suicides fall from levels such as 95 in 2002, 94 in 2003 and 95 in 2004 to 78 in 2005 and 67 in 2006.

Chief Inspector of Prisons, Anne Owers, said that the recent overcrowding crisis had seen newly-convicted prisoners housed in police and courthouse cells, where they do not have access to the support proper jails offer at their time of greatest vulnerability.’

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