Women in Prison respond to Safety in Custody quarterly update to September 2023

Women in Prison respond to Safety in Custody statistics January 2024

Self-harm rates in women's prisons continue to rise, according to quarterly update from the Ministry of Justice
  • Self-harm incidents increased by 38% over 12 months to September 2023 in the Ministry of Justice's Safety in Custody Quarterly Update
  • Highest levels of self-harm since records began in 2004
  • The rate of self-harm amongst women in prison is more than ten times of that amongst men
  • Women in prison who have self-harmed are doing so more frequently

Sonya Ruparel, Women in Prison's CEO, commented: “Prison is not a safe place for women. Today’s deeply concerning statistics show the escalating mental health crisis going on behind women’s prison doors.

The Government needs to take this seriously and take urgent action to stop rates of self-harm from continuing to rise.

It doesn’t have to be like this. When women are in the community, they can get the support they need to tackle the issues that draw them into crime in the first place, like domestic abuse and mental ill- health. We are calling on the Government to radically reduce the number of women in prison and invest in health, housing and welfare services so women can be supported in the community and not be swept up into the dead end of the criminal justice system.”

Read the full quarterly Safety in Custody statistics from the Ministry of Justice here.

Contact: miranda.dobson@wipuk.org