Young offenders are 18 times more likely to commit suicide

    Young male offenders aged 15-17 are 18 times more likely to kill
    themselves than boys in the general population, according to a
    report published this week, writes Maria
    Ahmed.

    An analysis of 1,312 male suicides in prisons in England and
    Wales between 1978 and 2003 by the University of Oxford found that
    the overall suicide rate for male prisoners was five times higher
    than that of the general male population of similar ages.

    Commenting on the report published in The Lancet, Juliet Lyon,
    director of the Prison Reform Trust, said: “These stark
    findings should prompt questions not only about the continuing
    failure of suicide prevention in Britain prisons, but most of all
    they should make us ask why the most vulnerable, mentally ill
    people are still being locked up in bleak, overcrowded
    institutions”.

    The issue was highlighted this week when a judge summoned the
    health minister Rosie Winterton to explain why no NHS bed could be
    found for a mentally disabled young offender.

    At a custody hearing at Snaresbrook Crown Court, Judge Nadine
    Radford refused to return Henry Nichol-Sey, of north London, to
    Feltham Young Offender Institution because of concerns about his
    welfare.

    The court heard that Nichol-Sey had a mental age of six and had
    already tried to kill himself six times while on remand at Feltham
    YOI.

    Judge Radford said: “This case is the biggest that is
    going on in court right now. It is not murder, drugs or rape, but
    the life of a young man caught in the legal system is being passed
    around several authorities.”

    Winterton attended the hearing, but by then a secure unit place
    had been found for Nichol-Sey.

     

    More from Community Care

    Comments are closed.