Figures released today by the Ministry of Justice paint a complex picture of a prison service making heroic strides in some areas while struggling to cope with the impact of rising prison numbers and dramatic cuts to prison staff and budgets.
Commenting, Juliet Lyon, Director of the Prison Reform Trust, said:
“The tragic rise in the numbers of self-inflicted deaths in custody is the most vivid of the flashing warning signs of a prison service placed under unprecedented strain. Ministers must heed and not dismiss what the facts and figures are telling them. Slashing prison budgets while warehousing ever greater numbers in larger prisons overseen by fewer and less experienced staff is no way to transform rehabilitation.
“Good people have worked hard year on year to make prisons safer and more constructive places. In less than two years of thoughtless change and headline-grabbing policy, sharply rising levels of suicide and violence show just how far their work has been set back.”Click 'read more' to see the full story.