Latest figures reveal an enormous increase in rates of self-harm at Bristol Prison, with the Liberal Democrats calling for immediate action from the government.
The latest Safety in custody statistics, published today by the Ministry of Justice, show that there were 745 self-harm incidents at Bristol Prison in the year ending September 2019. That is the highest rate on record and a 67% increase since the previous 12-month period
The figures represent only the latest piece of bad news for Bristol Prison, which was also revealed to be over capacity and is the only prison to have received an Urgent Notification so far in the 2019/20 period.
Liberal Democrat Bristol West Spokesperson James Cox said:
"The figures revealed today illustrate the crisis that is happening in Bristol Prison. An enormous increase in self-harm rates, way above the national average, shows that something is going wrong and the government needs to take action now to fix it.
"Because of overcrowding and understaffing, prisoners are spending far too much time locked in their cells, with a lack of support or purposeful activity. To make matters worse, the government is now introducing new laws that its own assessment says could well lead to more violence and self-harm in prisons like Bristol.
“Bristol Prison should be a place of rehabilitation, not an overcrowded institution of suffering. Liberal Democrats are calling on the government to take urgent action over Bristol Prison and ending overcrowding, including by scrapping pointless short sentences that cause overcrowding and actually increase reoffending.”