Crowding increases suicide risk, say MPs

Overcrowding is limiting the National Offender Management Service’s ability to adequately care for prisoners, particularly those at risk of committing suicide, a group of MPs has warned.

In a report this week, the public accounts committee called for remand prisoners to be considered for release through alternative schemes, such as electronic tagging, to reduce pressure on the prison population.

According to the latest government figures, the prison population is more than 77,000, including 2,321 children, a 3 per cent rise on this time last year. About 13,000 are on remand.

It called for Noms to quickly evaluate its anti-suicide procedures to determine their effectiveness.

The committee also said that prisoners on short-term sentences often received little or no educational training, while those moved around the prison estate because of overcrowding experienced disruption to education programmes.

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