Record levels of self-harm found at Derbyshire women’s prison

Woman in prison cellsource: Guardian (Society)
published: 9 February 2022

Inmates held in a women’s prison are making 1,000 calls a month to Samaritans amid record levels of self-harm, increased violence and low safety levels usually only seen in men’s facilities, a damning report has found.

Nearly a third of women held at Foston Hall in Derbyshire, which holds 272 residents, told inspectors they felt unsafe, while the use of force in the prison has doubled over nearly three years and is the highest on the women’s prison’s estate.

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Women prisoners making 1,000 calls a month to Samaritans, says report

Distressed Womansource: The Justice Gap
published: 11 February 2022

Women were making around 1,000 calls each month to the Samaritans from a prison in Derbyshire, according prison inspectors. A report by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Prisons has found instances of self-harm were the highest in the women’s prison estate at HMP Foston Hall and, for the first time, a women’s prison scored ‘poor’ in more than a decade ago with the inspectorate calling it ‘a rare and unexpected finding’.

The watchdog criticised the lack of any strategy to reduce self-harm in the prison which holds 272 women and serious attempts by women to take their own lives were not always investigated. Messages left on the prison’s crisis hotline had not been checked for six weeks on the day of the inspection.

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New data shows 2021 had highest number of deaths in prison ever

Domiciliary Prisonsource: INQUEST
published: 27 January 2022

The Ministry of Justice has today (27 January 2022) released the latest statistics on deaths and self-harm in prison in England and Wales. This time last year INQUEST predicted that, in the midst of a second wave of Covid-19, the worst was yet to come. Sadly, the government did not act and we were proven right.

In the 12 months to December 2021 there were a total of 371 deaths of people in prison, representing the highest annual number of deaths ever recorded, with more than one death a day. This is despite recent reductions in the prison population. There were 4.7 deaths per 1,000 prisoners, also representing the highest ever rate of deaths.

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