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Written answers and statements, 22 March 2010
Simon Burns (Whip, Whips; West Chelmsford, Conservative)
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice
(1) how many deaths of prisoners serving a determinate sentence were recorded in each year since 2005; how many such deaths were self-inflicted; and how many determinate sentenced prisoners there were in each of those years;
(2) how many incidents of self-harm were recorded by prisoners serving a determinate sentence in each year since 2005.
Maria Eagle (Minister of State (also in the Government Equalities Office), Ministry of Justice; Liverpool, Garston, Labour)
The information requested is combined in the following table:
|Determinate sentenced prisoners( 1)||2005||2006||2007||2008||2009( 2)||2010( 3)|
|Deaths in custody||94||94||85||98||78||20|
|Self-inflicted deaths only||29||36||29||25||20||4|
|Self-harm incidents||13,128||12,241||10,719||11,730||n/a||n/a |
|(1) Determinate prisoners in this answer are defined as those recorded as serving the following sentences: less than or equal to six months; more than six months but less than 12 months; more than or equal to 12 months but less than four years and more than or equal to four years but excluding life. (2) Population figures for 2009 are not available at the time of writing. (3) Self-harm figures for 2009 remain subject to verification and are not yet available. 2010 figures are not available for similar reasons. Two deaths are currently awaiting further information before classifying.|
Any death in prison custody is a tragic event. The Government, Ministry of Justice and the National Offender Management Service, (NOMS) are committed to learning from such events and reducing the number of self-inflicted deaths in prison custody.
NOMS has a broad, integrated and evidence-based prisoner suicide prevention and self harm management strategy that seeks to reduce the distress of all those in prison. This encompasses a wide spectrum of prison and Department of Health work around such issues as mental health, substance misuse and resettlement. Any prisoner identified as at risk of suicide or self-harm is cared for using the Assessment, Care in Custody and Teamwork procedures.