New research into prison suicide rates

Research by the University of Oxford has shown that men in prison are five times more likely to commit suicide than their counterparts in the general population.

The research, which analysed suicide rates in England and Wales, found that the difference was particularly strong in 15 – 17 year olds who were up to 18 more times likely to kill themselves.

The research suggests that the rates are a reflection of the stress that inmates are under as a result of overcrowding and the prison system not picking up on mental illness within the prison population.

Dr Seena Fazel, who led the research, said: “The incidence of suicide in prison had not really been reliably examined before.”

He conceded that: “There have been large numbers of people with mental illnesses who have left hospital because of the Care in the Community scheme”; however he concluded that, “half those who commit suicide in prison have a treatable mental illness”.

To see more information, go to: The University of Oxford Research Page