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Prison violence getting worse all the time

July 30, 2019 12:00 PM

Wera HobhouseLiberal Democrat Justice Spokesperson Wera Hobhouse has urged the new Justice Secretary to adopt a better approach to criminal justice, as new official figures show assaults and self-harm in prison rising to record highs.

The latest Safety in Custody Statistics, published today by the Ministry of Justice, show that:

  • There were 34,425 assaults in the 12 months to March 2019, including 10,311 assaults on staff - both record high figures.
  • There were 57,968 self-harm incidents in the same period, also the highest 12-month total on record.

The Ministry of Justice's Annual Prison Performance Ratings, also published today, show that 16 prisons are rated as having "performance of serious concern" - 14% of all prisons, the highest proportion since ratings began.

Responding to the statistics released by the Ministry of Justice, Liberal Democrat Justice spokesperson Wera Hobhouse said "The new Justice Secretary must urgently get to grips with the deepening crisis in our prisons. Violence and self-harm in prisons is more prevalent than ever, and it's getting worse all the time. The Tories' approach to criminal justice is completely failing. Prisons are overcrowded, understaffed and failing to rehabilitate the people we send there, meaning more re-offending and more people becoming victims of crime. The Liberal Democrats demand a better approach that recognises the factors that cause people to commit crimes - especially childhood trauma - and treats them effectively, instead of locking up more and more people in deteriorating prisons."