Every death in custody is a tragedy, and we are committed to reducing the number of self-inflicted deaths in prisons. Information on all deaths in prison custody can be found in the Safety in Custody statistics which are available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/safety-in-custody-statistics. The National Offender Management Service records “self-inflicted deaths” rather than “suicides” as a category of incident, as the intention of the prisoner may not be known reliably. These statistics are published quarterly, and the most recent publication contains information on deaths in custody up to 30 September. The next set of statistics will be published on 28 January 2016.
Prisoners identified as being at heightened risk of suicide or self-harm are cared for under the Assessment, Care in Custody and Teamwork (ACCT) process. An individual ‘care map’ will be put in place and kept under review to make sure it remains suitable.
The table below shows most recently published statistics for the number of self-inflicted deaths in each period since 2010, and the number and proportion of prisoners not on an open ACCT at the time of death.
12 months ending
Number of self-inflicted deaths
Not on an open ACCT
Proportion not on an open ACCT
Independent investigations into every death in custody are conducted by the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman, and, where applicable, the use of ACCT will be considered as part of these investigations. The reports are available at: www.ppo.gov.uk.