Bishop of St Albans asks Government about support for prisoners at risk of suicide or self-harm:

On 27th April 2017 the Bishop of St Albans asked the Government what it was doing to support prisoners at risk of suicide or self-harm:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Keen of Elie on 3 April (HL6247), what are the measures that will be put in
place to help support prisoners who are at risk of selfharm or suicide. [HL6804]
Lord Keen of Elie: The Assessment, Care in Custody and Teamwork (ACCT) process is the multi-disciplinary case management system that is used to provide support for prisoners assessed as being at risk of self-harm or suicide.

We are committed to improving the support that we offer to prisoners at risk. We expect the most important and effective measures to be the recruitment of 2,500 new staff, and the introduction of new offender management arrangements in prisons under which each key worker will have particular responsibility for a small number of prisoners. These will greatly enhance the time and resources available to support prisoners who are at risk.

We continue to work in partnership with the Samaritans to provide the Listener scheme, through which volunteer prisoners are trained to provide support to other prisoners in emotional distress. Additional grant funding for the Samaritans in 2017-18 will facilitate a number of improvements to that scheme and some other initiatives, including a pilot project to provide training on building emotional resilience for prisoners in their early days in custody, to be delivered by released ex-Listeners.

Other measures are being developed as part of our safety programme, which includes specific strands of work on the early days in custody, the case management of prisoners at risk, and building hopefulness amongst prisoners, including through family and peer support.