2nd February 2017

It has recently been reported in the media that a record number of people killed themselves in prisons in England and Wales in 2016.

The Ministry of Justice has confirmed there were 119 self-inflicted deaths which is 29 more than 2015 and the highest number since records began in 1978.

It has also been reported that a record high of 37,784 self-harm incidents and 25,049 assault incidents took place in prisons across England and Wales in 2016.

There has been increased scrutiny of the prison system over the past year with thousands of prison staff protesting last year over health and safety concerns because of overcrowding and staff shortages.

It is believed there is a causal link between factors such as overcrowding and staff shortages in prisons and the increasing number of assaults, self-harm incidents and suicides. For example, Peter Dawson, director of the Prison Reform Trust, said reducing the jail population was the “only realistic way to make our prisons safe in the foreseeable future”.

We at Ben Hoare Bell LLP have experience in the inquest process which includes advising and representing the families of those whose death occurred in prisons. We also provide advice to those wishing to pursue claims for compensation arising out of the death of a family member and also provide advice to those who have been assaulted whilst in prison.

If you wish to speak with a member of our team about a case you may have then please do not hesitate to contact us.

Blog by Andrew Freckleton, Police Misconduct Solicitor