Safety in custody statistics cover deaths, self-harm and assaults in prison custody in England and Wales. This publication updates statistics up to the end of December 2013
Deaths in prison custody increased to 215 in 2013 – the highest number of deaths recorded in prison custody in any calendar year – from 198 in 2012. The death rate in 2013 increased to 2.55 deaths per 1,000 prisoners compared with 2.23 in 2012. This increase comes from a period of relative stability in the death rate in prisons. Self-inflicted deaths increased to 74 in 2013 from 60 in 2012. This is the highest number of self-inflicted deaths since 2007. The rate of self-inflicted deaths was 0.9 deaths per 1,000 prisoners up from 0.7 deaths per 1,000 in 2012.
Sharp falls in female self-harm incidents have driven down the overall number of self-harm incidents over the last three years, despite incidence of male self-harm increasing. The number of incidents of self-harm by female prisoners has fallen by over 50% since 2010 from 12,632 incidents to 5,970 incidents.
In contrast, incidents of male self-harm have seen year-on-year increases over the same period increasing from 14,347 incidents to 17,213 incidents. Despite these differences in trends, females still account for a disproportionate amount of self-harm in prison custody.
The number of incidents of recorded assaults (including fights) in prison custody has returned to a falling trend over the medium term; falling to 14,125 in the 12 months to December 2013 compared with 15,959 in December 2008. However, the falls occur amongst prisoners aged under 21 which have reduced by over 2,500 incidents since 2008. In contrast assaults amongst adult prisoners (aged 21 and over) have increased by around 1,500 incidents over the same time period.
The number of assaults on staff has increased to 3,148 incidents from 2,987 in 2012, but similar to the number of assaults on staff in 2011. The number of serious assaults on staff has increased to 356 incidents from 260 in the previous year.
Pre-release list for safety in custody statistics bulletin.
The bulletin is produced and handled by the ministry’s analytical professionals and production staff. Pre-release access of up to 24 hours is granted to the following persons:
Ministry of Justice
Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State; Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Minister for Prisons and Rehabilitation; Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Minister for Victims and the Courts; Permanent Secretary; Director General, Justice Policy Group; Deputy Director of Youth Justice Policy; Director of Sentencing and Rehabilitation; Director of Analytical Services; Director General of Finance and Corporate Services; Director General of Transforming Justice; Policy Manager Justice Policy Group; Youth Justice Policy Advisor; Programme Director: Youth Justice Analysis; and relevant special advisors and press officers.
National Offender Management Service (NOMS)
Director General of NOMS; Director, National Operational Services; Director, Public Sector Prisons; Head of NOMS Population Strategy; Head of Public Protection Casework Section (OMPPG); Head of Offender Management and Public Protection Unit (NOMS); Policy Lead, Reducing re-offending and Offender Health; Head of Planning and Analysis Group (PAG); Head of Equalities, Disabilities and Rights Group; Head of Policy and Performance (PPCS, PPMHG); Head of Statistics, Planning and Analysis Group; Head of Safer Custody and Litigation; Head of Safer Custody Casework; Head of Violence Management Project Team; Strategy Unit Project Manager for Sentencing Assessment
Secretary of State, Home Office; Minister of State for Immigration; Minister of State for Policing and Criminal Justice; Home Office policy lead for re-offending; Private Secretary to the Prime Minister Special Advisor to Prime Minister Ministry of Justice Finances and Strategy, Public Services Group HM Treasury Deputy Private Secretary to Deputy Prime Minister.