Acts of self-harm by inmates serving indefinite prison sentences in England and Wales have risen by almost 50% in the last four years, figures suggest.
Last year, there were more than 2,500 acts of self-harm by prisoners serving imprisonment for public protection, or IPP, sentences, at a higher rate than among those serving fixed sentences.
The Prison Reform Trust said it showed IPP prisoners were in “despair”.
The Ministry of Justice said it was urgently looking at IPP offenders.
IPP sentences were scrapped in 2012, but thousands of inmates are still waiting to be released.
According to new Ministry of Justice statistics, which were compiled by the Prison Reform Trust, there were 2,537 incidents of self-harm among the population of 4,100 IPP prisoners last year.
The figures suggest rates of self-harm among IPP prisoners have gone up significantly every year for the last four years.
‘No finish line’
They showed there were 550 incidents of self-harm per 1,000 IPP prisoners last year.
That compares with 324 incidents per 1,000 prisoners on determinate sentences and 200 per 1,000 prisoners serving life sentences.
Of those still serving IPPs, 3,300 have served more than the minimum sentence they were given, while 400 have served at least five times the minimum sentence they received.
Danny Weatherson was 19 years old when he was given a 13-month IPP for robbery. More than nine years later, he is still in prison.
In February, a parole board said his re-offending risk had reduced sufficiently to be moved to an open prison.
But he cut his own throat last month and the move has been postponed. He is currently recovering in the prison’s hospital wing.
His solicitor, Shirley Noble, says self-harming has become his way of coping with not having a release date.
But she is worried it could also hurt his …read more
Source:: BBC UK