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Overcrowded prisons see 40% rise in suicides

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Overcrowding in prisons has led to a rise in incidents of suicide and self harm amongst inmates, despite improvements in custodial healthcare provision, a government watchdog warned yesterday.
In her annual report, Chief Inspector of Prisons Anne Owers noted that the prison population in England and Wales reached a record high of 81,500 last year, with a 40% rise in self inflicted deaths.

Despite improvements in healthcare, education of staff and offender management, the report found that the prison population crisis meant the service was now struggling to cope with current pressure and facing serious challenges in the future.

‘It is a credit to those running and working in the prison system that prisons have remained as safe and decent as they have, in this period of unprecedented pressure,’ Ms Owers said. ‘But at the same time there is evidence of slippage, and of a system and a workforce that are ill-placed to take further pressure.’
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