Ombudsman slams prison service on suicides


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The Independent Online

Failings in the prison service are leaving “vulnerable and isolated” young people at risk from suicide and self-harm, the Prison Ombudsman has concluded.

In a critical report into the deaths of 80 inmates aged between 18 and 24 the Ombudsman said risk assessments and monitoring arrangements for those at risk of suicide were poor, while concerns expressed by families were not acted upon.

The report comes a day after the Chief Inspector of Prisons told The Independent that it was “not credible” for the Government to deny a link between staff shortages and over-crowding in prisons and the rise in self-inflicted deaths.

Today Nick Hardwick publishes an inspection report into Doncaster prison, which accuses authorities of locking up inmates in cells without electricity or running water for more than two days.

The report also found prison staff frequently placed too much weight on judging how the prisoner seemed or “presented”, rather than on known risks even when there had been recent acts of self-harm.