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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

April 14, 2008: Prison Self Injury Rate Growing - Howard League

Rates of self injury in prison have rocketed by almost 40% in the last five years, says the Howard League for Penal Reform. This rate is accelerating well beyond what would be expected from the ever rising prison population in England and Wales.

According to the Howard League, figures show that in 2003, there were 16,393 incidents of self injury in prison. In 2007, there were 22,459 incidents. This rise of 37% is almost four times the rise in the prison population for the same period, which was just over 9.5%. In 2003, the average number of men, women and children in prison was 73,000. By 2007, the average population for the whole year was around 80,000.

Self injury rates among women in prison have risen even further, with a 48% rise in recorded incidents between 2003 and 2007.

These figures are only the registered incidents of self injury in prisons. The scale of the problem may be even larger , with a significant number of incidents going unreported. Howard League Director Frances Crook said:

“This shocking rise in self injury is far above what might be expected as we lock up ever increasing numbers of men, women and children whose mental health problems and addictions will never be properly treated within our flooded and failing jails."

“Warehoused temporarily in prison, many individuals are then released only to reoffend and be returned to custody. Rotting in the chaos and squalor of overcrowded prisons simply serves to exacerbate problems and will most likely to lead to more serious and frequent reoffending on release. The idea that public protection is served by this vicious circle is not one many victims of crime would recognise."

“When men, women and children in jail cut themselves and otherwise assault their own bodies, it is not a cry for help. It is a scream. How much longer before we realise that the national scandal happening behind bars has a direct impact on public safety and the healthiness of our society?”