On 8th November 2016 Lord Patel of Bradford asked Her Majesty’s Government “what action they are taking to address reports of increasing levels of violence in prisons.” The Bishop of Salisbury, Rt Revd Nicholas Holtam, asked a follow up question:
The Lord Bishop of Salisbury: My Lords, I have been in and out of prisons quite a lot, usually in support of the excellent multifaith chaplaincies that attest to the importance of the spirit of human beings. In recent years, there has been an alarming rise in the number of suicides, and in self-harm and violence. The recently published strategy for prison safety and reform is very welcome. Does the Minister agree that an imaginative and creative approach to education and the development of people’s spirit is an essential part of prison life for all those who have offended and are being punished?
Lord Keen of Elie: I entirely concur with the observations of the right reverend Prelate. Self-harm and suicide are disturbing and persistent problems, which we seek to address. We are already taking steps to provide prisoners at risk of suicide or self-harm with mental health support. The NOMS suicide and self-harm reduction project includes collaborative work with NHS England and Public Health England.