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 June 2013. Supplementary tables, providing more in depth statistics on deaths, self-harm and assaults on a calendar year basis up to 2012 are also provided.
In the 12 months to the end of June 2013 there were 193 deaths in prison custody. This is unchanged from the same 12 month period in 2012. The number of self-inflicted deaths increased by one-fifth to 62 deaths from 51 in the same period in 2012. The number of natural cause deaths is lower in the 12 months to end of June 2013 than the previous 12 months but it is likely that some of the deaths in the other category will later be reclassified as natural cause deaths as more information about these deaths is received.
Overall self-harm continues to decline year-on-year but there are differing trends for male and female self-harm. Incidence of male self-harm has been gradually increasing since June 2005, although the rate of male individuals self-harming has stabilised at between 68 and 71 males per 1,000 prisoners in recent years. In 2012 the number of males self-harming more than 20 times outnumbered females for the first time since the current recording system began.
In contrast, incidence of female self-harm has fallen by 42 per cent over the last two years largely driven by a reduction in the number of repetitive self-harmers. The rate of female prisoners self-harming fell by 25% from 353 females per 1,000 prisoners self-harming in the 12 months to June 2010 to 266 females per 1,000 prisoners in the 12 months to June 2013. This most recent 12 month period is up 1 from the same 12 month period a year earlier suggesting that the recent falls in female self-harm are levelling off. Despite the recent large falls incidence of female self-harm still accounts for a disproportionate amount of self-harm in prison custody.
The number of assaults continue to decrease over a 12 month period, falling by 10% in the 12 months to June 2013 compared with the same period a year earlier. At 162 assaults per 1,000 prisoners the rate of assaults, including fights, in the 12 months to end of June 2013 was the lowest for 10 years. The rate of assaults on staff has remained unchanged for 4 years at 35 assaults per 1,000 prisoners. The number of serious assaults on staff has increased in the 12 month period to June 2013 to 301 incidents from an unusually low 257 incidents in the same 12 month period to June 2012. This returns the number of serious assaults on staff to the level seen in June 2011.
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 and Learning; 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.