A recently released report by the National Audit Office suggests that mental well-being in UK prisons has been in sharp decline for several years due to ongoing savings in funding and staff since 2009.
Accordingly, the number of self-inflicted deaths and self-harm incidents among prisoners has reached the highest number on record in 2016. Within the last year, 120 persons committed suicide and another 40,161 cases of self-harm were reported from prisons in England and Wales which hold a monthly average of 84,674 prisoners in custody. This means an increase of 73% for self-harm incidents and almost 97% for self-inflicted deaths since 2012.
Amyas Morse, head of the National Audit Office, mentioned last Thursday that a lack of data on mental health problems and exact government spending impedes efforts to address this issue and called for a "step change in effort and resources" to improve the prisoners’ situation.