Rates of self-harm soar among young offenders

05Mar09

behind-prison-bars-shadow-bworiginally published: 1st March 2009

The number of children and young people self-harming in prisons has more than doubled in the past decade, figures released by the Ministry of Justice show.

The records, which include suicide attempts, paint an alarming picture of the mental toll of imprisonment on 15- to 20-year-olds.

Last year, there were a total of 2,040 incidents of self-inflicted injury reported at young offender institutions. This is compared with 1,835 incidents in 2007 and 879 during a 12-month period in 1997-98.

The figures, which relate to 20 prisons holding young offenders between the ages of 15 and 20, also show that staff at the centres were assaulted 914 times last year, up from 821 in 2007. In total, 892 young people were categorised as self-harmers last year, more than one in 10.

The latest figures have raised concerns about the safety of young people – around 7,800 – held in institutions across the country.

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2 Responses to “Rates of self-harm soar among young offenders”

  1. I actually feel a bit sorry for the kid because there is no need for a kid at 14 to end up dead in his cell. Why didn’t they look after him better do they not use duty of care in the police. I know he probably did bad but this is a bad ending.

  2. 2 pienmash

    It’s tragic the way our ‘civilised’ societies treat children in care, whether in the care of a religious or government institution. We’re currently investigating the brutal restraining techniques used in UK Young Offenders Institutions and Childcare homes.

    Bill Maloney and Pie ‘n’ Mash Films have been working on a documentary with 22 men who were all sexually abused by senior prison office ‘Neville Husband’ back in the 70s and who are now in the process of taking the Home Office to court. We also discovered that the youngest child in English custody Adam Rickwood (14) committed suicide at the same detention centre only four years ago. We have interviews with Adam’s family who do not believe he committed suicide and with four of the men who were abused back in the 70s at the same centre. Ligatures and torture techniques were used! Please take a few minutes to view the trailer for ‘Adam Rickwood & The Medomsley Heroes’: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D34cshT2vto&feature=channel_page and leave your comments. (Warning: Videos contain strong language)

    Feel free to push our information out to any links/forums you think relevant.

    If we all pull together we CAN make a difference.

    These ARE the Medomsley Heroes: http://www.justice4survivors.org
    We are http://www.pienmashfilms.com


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