Bishop of Peterborough asks Government about plans to reduce prison suicides

14.02 PeterboroughOn 3rd May 2016 Lord Marks of Henley-on-Thames asked Her Majesty’s Government, “in the light of the latest figures on deaths in custody and prison violence, what plans they have to improve prison safety in the short term.” The Bishop of Peterborough, Rt Revd Donald Allister, asked a follow up question:

The Lord Bishop of Peterborough: My Lords, given the shocking 27% rise in suicides in prisons in the last year, what can the Minister tell us about the provision of psychiatric and psychotherapeutic care for vulnerable prisoners?

Lord Faulks: The Government are well aware of the profound difficulties for prisoners with various forms of mental illness. I think NICE has estimated that 90% of prisoners have some form of mental illness. It is a matter for NHS England to provide the appropriate facilities, but all prisons should make sure that these are available so far as possible. As to the question of assessment when prisoners arrive, NOMS has reviewed its assessment process to ensure that those at risk are properly assessed and appropriate steps are taken to try to deal with the risks that they represent.