The number of drug-related deaths in prisons remains low. However, every death in custody is a tragedy and we work hard to learn the lessons from each one.
The Government believes that prisons should be places of safety and reform. The number of self-inflicted deaths is extremely concerning and we are committed to reducing it. Our recent White Paper set out specific steps that we are taking to improve safety. They include investing over £100m to recruit an additional 2,500 staff across the estate by the end of 2018. We have taken immediate action to stabilise the estate by tackling the drugs, drones and phones that undermine security.
We have also provided an additional £10m of new annual funding for prison safety, supplemented by £2.9m from existing budgets. This has given a significant number of governors the opportunity to improve safety levels in their establishments. The government publishes statistics on deaths in custody quarterly on gov.uk.