11 died in Doncaster jails, Government reveals

Eleven people have died in prison in Doncaster in the last year, it has been revealed.

Thursday, 28th January 2016, 6:17 pm
Updated Thursday, 28th January 2016, 6:24 pm
Doncaster prison

Five died in HMP Doncaster, three in Lindholme, two in Moorland, and one in Hatfield, official figures have revealed today.

Campaigners have raised concerns about the figures, and with concerns that one of the deaths at HMP Doncaster was a suicide.

Across England and Wales, deaths by suicide have risen by 46 per cent in the last three years, at a time when prisons have struggled to cope with growing numbers of prisoners, chronic overcrowding and deep staff cuts.

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Frances Crook, Chief Executive of the Howard League for Penal Reform, said: “No one should be so desperate whilst they are in the care of the state that they take their own life.

“The numbers hide the true extent of misery for prisoners and families – and for staff, who have been given the impossible task of keeping people safe in overcrowded prisons starved of resources.

“The question now for the Ministry of Justice is: what to do? This level of deaths, violence and anguish in prisons cannot continue to rise in a civilised society.

“We cannot go on cramming more people into jails without any thought for the consequences.”

A Prison Service spokesperson said: "We take our duty of care to prisoners extremely seriously. Staff provide support to prisoners at risk of self-harm and suicide every day, and work closely with health providers to ensure that prisoners receive appropriate healthcare.

"All deaths in custody are fully investigated by the independent Prisons and Probation Ombudsman and subject to a Coroner's inquest."