On the 5th of May 2022, the latest Safety in Custody were released. These statistics measure incidences of self-harm, suicide, assaults, and deaths in custodial settings across England and Wales over a three month period.
- Self harm in the female estate has risen by 10% since the previous quarter, and 4% on the previous year
- Deaths fell by 29%, mostly due to a fall in deaths from Covid-19
- The rate of self-harm by those held on remand rose in both female (20%) and male estates (4%)
Campbell Robb, Nacro’s chief executive, said: “Today’s statistics lay bare the truly shocking impact of prison on people held on remand. In the last year alone, the rate of self-harm for people on remand increased in both the male (4%) and female (20%) estates. The number of incidents of self-harm has reached its highest level since 2004.
Court delays continue to overwhelm the criminal justice system, with more than a third of the remand population held for longer than the legal limit of six months while awaiting trial. More than 1,000 people have been held for over a year, and nearly 500 who have been waiting for trial for more than two years. These continual delays cause unnecessary anguish to victims waiting for justice.
One in four people held on remand will not be sent to prison following trial, with one in ten being found not guilty, this is worse for women with two thirds of those on remand being found not guilty or given a community sentence.
The human impact can be severe. While on remand, people can lose their home, their job and even the custody of their children. The uncertainty created due to the lack of an end date to their time in custody also creates a state of limbo as people cannot properly plan for their release.
Remand must not become the default option. Instead, it should be used – when necessary – for people who are either a risk to the public or at risk of absconding.”
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