Inmate suicide figures expose human toll of prison crisis

Prison-bars-at-Felthamsource: The Guardian
published: 17 October 2014

The human toll of the crisis gripping prisons in England and Wales is exposed with new figures obtained by the Guardian revealing that 125 prisoners have killed themselves in 20 months – an average of more than six a month.

For the first time the Guardian has identified the individuals behind the statistics that show suicide is at its highest rate in prisons for nine years, and there is no sign that the scale of the tragedy is being checked.

The investigation, which examined all suicides between January 2013 and 28 August 2014, found four women and 121 men, aged between 18 and 74, killed themselves in the adult prison system.

Since then and up to 2 October another nine men, aged between 21 and 46, killed themselves, bringing the total number of self-inflicted deaths since January 2013 to 134. Three people killed themselves on one day, 1 September 2014.

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