Self harm rates in UK detention centres and prisons

We know that self harm doesn’t discriminate. It can affect anyone, of any age, anywhere. There are frequently reports in the UK news about high rates of self harm in prisons, and we know that people are uniquely vulnerable when they are in contact with the criminal justice system.

In April 2018, The Independent reported that at least one person a day is self-harming in UK detention centres, and that 2017 saw the highest number of deaths in detainees on record, including six suicides. In addition, self harm incidents in prisons increased by 73% between 2012-16 and there were 120 suicides in prison in 2016 – this is the highest figure on record for any given year.

Cuts to funding and staff have left prisoners and detainees in a more vulnerable position than ever. We want to ensure that all professionals working with people who are at high risk of self harm and suicide are better equipped with the skills, knowledge and confidence to help provide support and promote recovery. Harmless’ Let’s Talk Training team provides courses on self harm awareness, suicide prevention, and mental health awareness. If you would like to find out more, please email us: training@harmless.org.uk

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