4. Vulnerable prisoners

Staff are trained to spot prisoners at risk of bullying, suicide or self-harm. The prisoner may get their own case manager who will make sure they:

  • are asked about their mental health - eg if they’re feeling depressed
  • get regular support from a health specialist

Most prisons also have ‘listener schemes’ that offer emotional support in confidence - normally from fellow prisoners.

Psychiatric hospitals

A prisoner can be moved to a secure psychiatric hospital for their own safety. This only happens if they meet certain conditions under the Mental Health Act.

Once the prisoner gets better, they return to prison.

If you’re worried about a prisoner

If you’re worried about a prisoner:

  • tell a member of prison staff when you visit
  • contact the prison’s ‘Safer Custody Team’

Some prisons run confidential Safer Custody hotlines where you can leave a message explaining your concerns.