Prisons in Parliament

Deaths, self-harm and assaults, what is being done to tackle rising levels of violence?

Young people in prison 1

Source: Publik15 on Flickr

Prisons in Parliament keeping you up-to-date on the last week of politics and prisons. What has been said and by whom? Find out here…


Violence in prison

A record number of deaths, a 20 per cent increase in assaults and a 25 per cent increase in self-harm incidents. Levels of violence increased in 2015 in prisons across the UK. So what steps are being taken to tackle violence in prison? Asked Lord Marks. 


Lord Faulks outlined the measures in place:

  • Trialling of body-worn video cameras (BWVCs)
  • Introduction of new offences to control supply and possession under the Psychoactive Substances Act
  • A review of the processes for supporting prisoners at risk of suicide or self-harm


Lord Marks acknowledged Gove’s commitment to prison reform but questioned whether the resources really exist to reduce levels of violence in prison:

“has he been promised the resources to address the causes of these dreadful figures—squalid conditions, overcrowding, understaffing and prisoners locked for far too long in their cells?”



Body -worn video cameras

Andrew Slaughter asked whether it will be policy that all prison officers in youth facilities should wear body-mounted cameras (BWVCs).

Andrew Selous said BWVCs are already in use at all Secure Training Colleges (STCs) and a pilot of them is currently taking place across 24 prisons, including Cookham Wood, Feltham and Wetherby under -18 Young Offender Institutions.



Handling violence in prison

Andrew Slaughter asked how many times Tornado Teams, National Tactical Response Group and Gold Command have been deployed since January 2014

Andrew Selous said Gold Command is often used as a precaution:

“Gold Command is opened in order to deal with incidents as quickly and safely as possible. Not all incidents turn out to be serious, but Gold Command is opened as a precaution when incidents are regarded as potentially serious.”

For the numbers of incidents in which Tornado Teams, National Tactical Response Group and Gold Command have been deployed over the last year, click here. 





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