The 10 prisons in England & Wales with the most suicides

Which prisons are the worst for self-inflicted deaths?

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MOJ Statistics

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Since 1978 the number of deaths in custody has increased. Although there was a welcome fall in the number of apparent self-inflicted deaths last year – from 88 in the year to March 2014 to 76 in the year to March 2015 – it was still 40 per cent higher than five years ago.

At the same time, the prison population has risen since the coalition government came to power yet staffing levels have fallen by 30 percent.

The Harris Review, launched last week, found that chronic understaffing of our prison system is contributing to the rise in self inflicted deaths. 

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But which prisons are the worst offenders?

Below is a list of the ten prisons in England & Wales with the most suicides.

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1) HMP Brixton

1) HMP Brixton

At number one, Brixton prison, London. Since 1978 Brixton Jail has had 86 self inflicted deaths, the highest in England and Wales. Brixton also has the lowest staff to prisoner ratio, since 2010 the number of prison officers has decreased from 210 to 120, almost in halved.

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2)  HMP Leeds

2) HMP Leeds

Second is Leeds Prison with 77 self inflicted deaths in custody since 1978. There has been at least one death every year since 1986. From 2010 the number of prison officers has fallen from 383 to 260. 

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3) HMP Prison Manchester

3) HMP Prison Manchester

Manchester makes number three. 74 self inflicted deaths in custody since 1978 with a peak in 1999 of eight deaths. Staffing levels have also been slashed, from 503 in 2010 to 380 prison officers today.

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4) HMP Prison Liverpool

4) HMP Prison Liverpool

Forth, Liverpool had one of the lowest levels of self inflicted deaths until 1988. Since then the number has been consistently high. Overall there have been 68 deaths since 1978, this increase falls in line with staff cuts, down by 120 staff in the last four years.

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5) HMP Wandsworth

5) HMP Wandsworth

At number five, Wandsworth prison has had 62 deaths since 1978 with a peak in 2000 of seven deaths. Wandsworth also has a low staff to prisoner ratio, largely due to some of the most drastic cuts in the last four years. Staffing levels fell from 427 in 2010 to 270 prison officers in 2014.

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6) HMP Prison Durham

6) HMP Prison Durham

Number six, Durham jail has inconsistent rates of self inflicted deaths with occasional peaks of six deaths per year and some years none. Since 1978 there have been 59 deaths and since 2010 over 120 staff have been cut.

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7) HMP Wormwood Scrubs

7) HMP Wormwood Scrubs

Seventh, Wormwood Scrubs has seen 54 deaths since 1978 and the number has been gradually rising, peaking in 2013 in line with decreasing staffing levels.

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8) HMP Prison Birmingham

8) HMP Prison Birmingham

Birmingham comes in at number seven. There have been 52 self inflictedeaths since 1978, six of these were in 2010. Since this peak staff have been cut from 494 to 392 prison officers.

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9) HMP Prison Norwich

9) HMP Prison Norwich

At nine, Norwich prison had low rates of suicide since 1995, however since then they have been consistently high totalling 49 since 1978. The number of prisoners has increased, yet staff have fallen from 211 in 2010 to 150 prison officers.

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10) HMP Prison Winchester

10) HMP Prison Winchester

HMP Winchester is tenth with 48 deaths since 1978. The majority of these were concentrated between 1989 and 2003. Since 2010 the number of prison officers has almost halved.

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Lord Harris’ concluding remarks noted:

 “Understaffing has clearly been a contributory factor in many of the deaths and it would be of enormous concern to us if current resource levels were made any worse in prisons… Current operation staffing levels are not adequate even when the current recruitment exercises have been completed; the benchmark levels of staffing need to be reviewed.”


2 Comments on “The 10 prisons in England & Wales with the most suicides”

  1. […] suicide. her solicitor described the 21 year old as vulnerable. So sending her to Britain’s second most suicidal jail was not clever thinking. HMP Leeds is second, to HMP Brixton, with “77 self inflicted deaths […]

    Like

  2. jason ghaffari says:

    Does this include scottish prisons as being scottish myself and moving out of glasgow at a young age i know some prisond up thete must be very high with suicide

    Like


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