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News Archives: Index

October 7, 2010: Probation Set For Industrial Action

October 5, 2010: Turning Prisoners Into Taxpayers

October 4, 2010: Murder Changes Now In Force

September 20, 2010: Probation Programmes Face Cuts

August 24, 2010: Victorian Poor Law Records Online

August 10, 2010: Justice Job Cuts

July 28, 2010: Prison Violence Growing

July 22, 2010: Police Numbers: Latest Figures

July 22, 2010: New Jurisdiction Rules

July 16, 2010: CCJS On Prison And Probation Spending Under Labour

July 15, 2010: Latest Statistics On Violent And Sexual Crime

July 15, 2010: Latest National Crime Figures

July 15, 2010: New Chief Prisons Inspector

July 14, 2010: Hard Times Ahead For Prisons: Anne Owers

July 14, 2010: Prison Does Not Work: Ken Clarke

July 13, 2010: Criminal Justice Reform: Sentencing and Rehabilitation

July 13, 2010: Criminal Justice Reform Priorities

July 12, 2010: What Price Public Protection, Asks Probation Chief Inspector

July 12, 2010: NOMS has failed, says Napo

July 10, 2010: IPCC To Investigate Death of Raoul Moat

July 9, 2010: Women In Prison: New Report

July 9, 2009: Unjust Deserts: Imprisonment for Public Protection

July 8, 2010: Police Search Powers Change

July 7, 2010: Make 'Legal High' Illegal, Says ACMD

July 2, 2010: Failing Children In Prison

July 2, 2010: Police Buried Under a Blizzard of Guidance: HMIC

July 1, 2010: Freedom To Change The Law?

June 30, 2010: A New Outlook On Penal Reform?

June 30, 2010: Revolving Door Of Offending Must Stop, Says Clarke

June 30, 2010: Ken Clarke: Speech on Criminal Justice Reform

June 29, 2010: No More Police Targets

June 26, 2010: Family Intervention Projects Questioned

June 25, 2010: Cutting Criminal Justice

June 24, 2010: Napo on Sex Offenders Report

June 23, 2010: Closing Courts: The Cuts Begin

June 23, 2010: Strategy To Tackle Gangs

June 15, 2010: Courts and Mentally Disordered Offenders

June 8, 2010: Working With Muslims in Prison

June 1, 2010: Your Chance To Nominate a QC

February 9, 2005: Prison Suicides "A Stain On Our Democracy"

Fifty two prisons in England and Wales suffered at least one suicide of a prisoner in 2004 and 13 prisons experienced three or more deaths, the Howard League for Penal Reform stated today. Prisons which experienced three or more suicides included Blakenhurst, Gloucester, Leicester, Liverpool, Manchester, New Hall, Norwich, Nottingham, Pentonville, Shrewsbury, Wakefield, Woodhill and Wormwood Scrubs.

The analysis of the annual suicide statistics carried out by the Howard League also indicates that:

  • More than half of all deaths occur in local prisons
  •  About 200 people are resuscitated from serious suicide attempts each year and some of these never fully recover
  • High suicide rates are associated with lower levels of purposeful activity in prisons
  • In addition to the prison suicides, a 14 year old boy took his own life in a secure training centre
  • Released prisoners are forty times more likely to die than their peers, due to drug overdoses and suicide
  • A quarter of the suicides occur within a week of arrival at a prison and a half within the first month
  • 57% of the people who commit suicide in prison are on remand yet they represent only 19% of the prison population
  • Of the people who died in prisons only 7 were identified as at risk of suicide at the time they killed themselves
  •  83 people hanged themselves, 10 suffocated or died from a ligature and 2 from cuts to the throat or wrist
  • 13 women took their own lives in 2004
  • A total of 95 people committed suicide in prisons in 2004 and a fourteen year boy took his own life in a secure training centre.

Howard League Director Frances Crook said:

 “The death rate in prisons continues to be a stain on our democracy. Far too many people find prison intolerable and are dying as a direct consequence of our love affair with punishment and incarceration. Our society would benefit if we used prison less and got people to make amends in the community, and we would save hundreds of lives.”