Recent reports highlight continuing tragedy of prison deaths

Male Prisonersource: royds withy king
published: 13 March 2020

Following the latest statistics on prison deaths in England, Ali Cloak considers the alarming findings and explores the inequality of funding for families in prison inquests.

Sadly the number of deaths in prison have been higher in the last six years than they have been since the 1970s. Deaths in prison can be particularly devastating for families as they are often given little, if any, information about the circumstances of how their loved one died. They may then be left with lots of unanswered questions about how their loved one came by their death when they were supposed to be under the care of the state and in a safe place.

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New report exposes ‘national scandal’ of deaths in prison caused by neglect

Filessource: INQUEST
published: 22 January 2020

On 22 January INQUEST published a report exposing dangerous, longstanding failures across the prison estate and historically high levels of deaths in custody. Deaths in prison: A national scandal offers unique insight and analysis into findings from 61 prison inquests in England and Wales in 2018 and 2019.

The report details repeated safety failures including mental and physical healthcare, communication systems, emergency responses, and drugs and medication. It also looks at the wider statistics and historic context, showing the repetitive and persistent nature of such failings.

Every four days a person takes their life in prison, and rising numbers of ‘natural’ and unclassified deaths are too often found to relate to serious failures in healthcare.

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Domiciliary Prison

Ageing prison population ‘sees officers [increasingly] working as carers’

Prison Barssource: BBC News
published: 22 October 2019

The ageing jail population has left prison officers providing care for a growing number of older inmates “dying in front of them”, officers have said.

The warning from the Prison Officers’ Association (POA) has come as new figures revealed the oldest prisoner in England and Wales was 104 years old.

The data showed there were 13,617 inmates aged above 50 out of a prison population of 82,710 in June 2019. The Prison Service said it was working to meet the needs of elderly prisoners. More and more inmates were frail, incontinent or had dementia, the POA said.

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