More young people die in prison

Suicides by young people in prison doubled over the past year, according to Home Office figures published this week.

There were 12 suicides among 15 to 21-year-olds in 2005 compared to six in 2004, with two of the deaths involving prisoners aged between 15 and 17.

But the overall number of suicides in prison fell by 18 per cent from 95 in 2004 to 78 last year.

The figures also show that prison staff dealt with 1,500 at-risk prisoners each month during 2005 out of a prison population that reached a record high of 77,800 in October.

Staff successfully resuscitated 131 prisoners following self-harm incidents last year, compared with 154 in 2004, according to the figures.

A new care plan system for at-risk prisoners was implemented in 41 prisons last year and will be extended to all prisons by 2007.

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