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Wednesday, 30 November 2016

IPP. Unprecedented boom in prisoners taking their own lives in the last 11 months.

English prisons have not seen so many suicides in 2016, they already number 102: that is one every three days, numbers being IPP Prisoners.

The picture painted by the latest statistics of the Howard League for Penal Reform that did not need to wait for year-end to declare a record for deaths behind bars. According to the experts, there are three reasons for the unprecedented boom in prisoners taking their own lives and in the in the last 11 months.

Reason number 1. Budget cuts for prisons and consequential reduction in personnel.
Reason number 2. Overpopulation in prisons. 
Reason number 3. IPP sentence over tariff.  A sentence that gives know hope to prisoners given one.

Last but not least, the lack of an adequate mental health prevention and a treatment programme for more vulnerable prisoners, along with a customised training plan for prison guards that provides them with suitable tools to detect signs of need and danger.


More than 100 people have lost their lives through suicide in prisons in England and Wales so far this year, an all-time record, it can be revealed today (Monday 28 November) as two charities publish new research on how to make jails safer.

The Howard League for Penal Reform has been notified of 102 people dying by suicide behind bars since the beginning of 2016 – one every three days.

With five weeks remaining until the end of the year, it is already the highest death toll in a calendar year since current recording practices began in 1978. The previous high was in 2004, when 96 deaths by suicide were recorded.

Recommendations to tackle the problem are set out in a new report, Preventing prison suicide, jointly published by the Howard League and another charity, Centre for Mental Health.

It is the latest in a series of reports published by the two charities as part of a joint programme aimed at saving lives in prison.

The report states that urgent action is needed, and that prisons must become safer, healthier places to reduce suicide risk.

The report finds that the rise in the number of prison suicides has coincided with cuts to staffing and budgets and a rise in the number of people in prison, resulting in overcrowding. Violence has increased and safety has deteriorated.

Prisoners are spending up to 23 hours a day locked in their cells, the imposition of prison punishments has increased, and a more punitive daily regime was introduced in prisons at the same time as the number of deaths by suicide began to rise.

The prison suicide rate, at 120 deaths per 100,000 people, is about 10 times higher than the rate in the general population.

The report states that investing in staffing must go hand in hand with a reduction in the prison population if prisons are to be made safer.

Frances Crook, Chief Executive of the Howard League for Penal Reform, said: “The number of people dying by suicide in prison has reached epidemic proportions. No one should be so desperate while in the care of the state that they take their own life, and yet every three days a family is told that a loved one has died behind bars.

“Cutting staff and prison budgets while allowing the number of people behind bars to grow unchecked has created a toxic mix of violence, death and human misery.

“This report makes clear that there are practical steps that can be taken to make prisons safer. I am due to meet the Secretary of State for Justice today (Monday 28 November), and I shall be outlining the Howard League’s plan to reduce pressure on the prison system.

“By taking bold but sensible action to reduce the number of people in prison, we can save lives and prevent more people being swept away into deeper currents of crime and despair.”

Andy Bell, Deputy Chief Executive of Centre for Mental Health, said: “Every loss of life through suicide is a tragedy for everyone involved.

“Prisoners face a very high risk of suicide and it is essential that prisons and health services work together to prevent loss of life. This requires a fundamental change to the way prisons work, creating an environment that supports wellbeing and helps prison staff to care.

“We must recognise that many prisoners are highly vulnerable and that being imprisoned is a traumatic event that can have devastating consequences without the right help and support.”

A prison regime should be built around a normal life, the report states. People in prison should be able to get up, have a shower and breakfast, occupy themselves productively, socialise and exercise, and go outdoors.

The report calls for the revised Incentives and Earned Privileges (IEP) scheme, introduced in prisons in November 2013 by the then Secretary of State for Justice, Chris Grayling, to be scrapped as “prisoners are being deprived of valuable coping mechanisms at a time when they most need it”.

Some prisoners, including all newly convicted prisoners spending their first two weeks in prison, have limits placed on family contact, physical activity and access to their money and possessions.

The number of deaths by suicide in prisons has risen by 34 per cent since the revised IEP scheme was introduced – from 76 in 2013 to 102 during 2016 so far.

The report recommends that the revised IEP scheme should be replaced with a new incentive scheme that rewards positive behaviour, encourages participation and recognises the needs of the most vulnerable. Maintaining family relationships, physical exercise and socialising with others should be regarded as part of a normal, healthy life, not as privileges that have to be earned.

Placing prisoners in solitary confinement is detrimental to their health and wellbeing and increases the risk of suicide, the report states. The Prisons and Probation Ombudsman found that, in 2013-14, eight people took their own lives in prison segregation units, four of whom had been assessed as at risk of suicide and self-harm.

The report states: “Prisoners are being held under segregated conditions for weeks, months and even years. There are no limits on how long a prisoner may be segregated for, nor is there any requirement for the prisoner to be informed of how long he or she will remain in segregation. This engenders a sense of hopelessness.”

The report recommends that prisoners with mental health problems or known to be at risk of suicide should never be placed in solitary confinement.

Suicides in prisons


The number of deaths by suicide in each prison in England and Wales since 2013 is indicated in the table below:



Prison Deaths by suicide per year Total number of deaths by suicide (2013-16*)
2013 2014 2015 2016*
Altcourse 2 2 0 2 6
Ashfield 0 0 0 0 0
Askham Grange 0 0 0 0 0
Aylesbury 0 0 0 0 0
Bedford 1 1 1 4 7
Belmarsh 2 1 1 0 4
Birmingham 3 1 1 0 5
Blantyre House 1 0 0 0 1
Blundeston 1 ** ** ** 1
Brinsford 0 0 1 0 1
Bristol 1 0 2 4 7
Brixton 0 2 0 0 2
Bronzefield 0 0 1 0 1
Buckley Hall 0 0 0 0 0
Bullingdon 2 2 3 1 8
Bure 0 0 0 0 0
Cardiff 1 1 1 1 4
Channings Wood 0 0 0 2 2
Chelmsford 3 1 3 2 9
Coldingley 0 0 0 0 0
Cookham Wood 0 0 0 0 0
Dartmoor 0 0 1 0 1
Deerbolt 0 0 0 1 1
Doncaster 0 2 1 1 4
Dorchester 1 ** ** ** 1
Dovegate 4 0 1 0 5
Downview 1 0 0 0 1
Drake Hall 0 0 0 1 1
Durham 3 2 2 1 8
East Sutton Park 0 0 0 0 0
Eastwood Park 0 0 0 3 3
Elmley 2 5 0 0 7
Erlestoke 0 0 1 0 1
Everthorpe 0 1*** *** *** 1
Exeter 0 3 4 3 10
Featherstone 0 2 0 1 3
Feltham 0 0 0 0 0
Ford 0 0 0 0 0
Forest Bank 1 1 1 0 3
Foston Hall 0 0 3 1 4
Frankland 0 1 0 0 1
Full Sutton 0 1 1 0 2
Garth 0 0 1 2 3
Gartree 0 0 1 1 2
Glen Parva 2 1 2 1 6
Gloucester 1 ** ** ** 1
Grendon 0 0 1 0 1
Guys Marsh 0 0 2 1 3
Hatfield 0 0 0 0 0
Haverigg 0 1 0 1 2
Hewell 3 2 3 1 9
High Down 1 0 1 0 2
Highpoint 1 3 0 0 4
Hindley 0 0 0 1 1
Hollesley Bay 0 0 0 0 0
Holloway 0 1 0 1 2
Holme House 2 2 1 1 6
Hull 0 0 3 2 5
Humber *** 2 0 4 6
Huntercombe 0 0 0 1 1
Isle of Wight 1 0 0 0 1
Kennet 0 0 0 0 0
Kirkham 0 0 0 0 0
Kirklevington Grange 0 0 0 0 0
Lancaster Farms 0 1 0 0 1
Leeds 2 3 2 4 11
Leicester 0 1 1 0 2
Lewes 0 0 0 1 1
Leyhill 0 0 0 0 0
Lincoln 1 0 2 2 5
Lindholme 0 0 0 2 2
Littlehey 0 0 0 0 0
Liverpool 1 4 2 3 10
Long Lartin 1 2 1 0 4
Low Newton 1 0 1 1 3
Lowdham Grange 0 0 0 1 1
Maidstone 1 0 1 0 2
Manchester 1 1 0 4 6
Moorland 0 1 0 3 4
Morton Hall**** 0 1 0 0 1
New Hall 0 1 0 2 3
North Sea Camp 0 0 0 0 0
Northumberland 1 1 1 3 6
Norwich 3 0 2 0 5
Nottingham 1 1 0 2 4
Oakwood 0 0 0 1 1
Onley 0 0 1 0 1
Parc 0 2 0 3 5
Pentonville 1 1 2 2 6
Peterborough 1 2 1 1 5
Portland 1 1 0 1 3
Preston 1 3 0 1 5
Ranby 2 2 4 0 8
Risley 0 2 0 1 3
Rochester 0 0 1 0 1
Rye Hill 0 0 0 0 0
Send 0 0 0 0 0
Spring Hill 1 0 0 0 1
Stafford 0 0 0 0 0
Standford Hill 0 0 0 0 0
Stocken 0 0 1 0 1
Stoke Heath 1 0 1 0 2
Styal 0 0 0 1 1
Sudbury 0 0 0 0 0
Swaleside 0 0 1 0 1
Swansea 0 1 1 2 4
Swinfen Hall 0 1 1 0 2
Thameside 1 0 1 0 2
The Mount 1 1 2 1 5
The Verne**** 0 0 1 0 1
Thorn Cross 0 0 0 0 0
Usk\Prescoed 0 0 0 0 0
Wakefield 0 1 0 0 1
Wandsworth 0 5 3 2 10
Warren Hill 0 0 0 0 0
Wayland 0 2 0 3 5
Wealstun 1 0 1 0 2
Werrington 0 0 0 0 0
Wetherby 0 0 0 0 0
Whatton 0 0 0 0 0
Whitemoor 1 1 0 1 3
Winchester 0 2 4 1 7
Wolds 0 *** *** *** 0
Woodhill 4 2 5 6 17
Wormwood Scrubs 5 1 1 2 9
Wymott 2 1 0 0 3
TOTAL 76 89 89 102 356



*Up to and including 18 November 2016.

**Prison closed.

***Humber prison was created by an amalgamation of Everthorpe and Wolds prisons in 2014.

****Immigration Removal Centre operated by the Ministry of Justice.

(Figures for 2013-15 are from statistical bulletins published by the Ministry of Justice. Figures for 2016 are compiled from notifications received by the Howard League for Penal Reform from the Ministry of Justice.)
http://howardleague.org/news/suicidesinprison2016/


What is Liz Truss doing ? 

In her reform she stressed the importance of ensuring ‘we keep on being the people of ideas, people of reform, the people who can help drive our country forward – because we have a big opportunity now to project global Britain.
But what has Liz Truss done so far for Prisoners or the IPP prisoners? The Parole Board has  given her options a way to drive forward  change however she has  continued to do noting while the situation is one of  despair. 

Suicide and violence against prisoners

For Truss, the priorities are identifying prison officers as victims of prisoner violence and protecting prison officer safety, but there is no mention of prison officer violence or prisoner safety, or the truly terrible reality that in the last year we have the highest rate of self-inflicted deaths ever recorded in England and Wales.The data of violence against prisoners by prison officers is much more difficult to record. This is because of the nature of the violence (it could involve violence during restraint procedures) and that prisoners may fear repercussions if they report officer violence. There are also problems regarding whether the prisoner's account will be believed by other prison staff.The data of violence against prisoners by prison officers is much more difficult to record. This is because of the nature of the violence (it could involve violence during restraint procedures) and that prisoners may fear repercussions if they report officer violence. There are also problems regarding whether the prisoner's account will be believed by other prison staff.Throughout her talk – which actually offers little new – there is no mention of the vast evidence going back numbers of years that 'reformed prisons' have never achieved the goals that she aspires too.  know mention of IPP Prisoners  as though the problem never existed.

http://howardleague.org/blog/what-is-liz-truss-going-to-do/

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/oct/04/liz-truss-women-prison-system-killing-women-suicide-self-harm-justice-secretary


http://www.gazette-news.co.uk/uk_national_news/14838164.Prison_officers_warn_Liz_Truss_over_jails__bloodbath_/






















 

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