Prisoner suicide rate lower than UK average in Wigan

The number of suicides committed by inmates at HMP Hindley is much lower than the UK average, the prison service has revealed.

Thursday, 22nd November 2018, 8:15 am
Updated Thursday, 22nd November 2018, 11:10 am
Stephen Connell, 20, died at Hindley Prison
Stephen Connell, 20, died at Hindley Prison

In the past five years there have been two instances of inmates taking their lives at the category C prison, both of which occurred between 2016 and 2018.

The data, released following a Freedom of Information request, has listed the names and ages of prisoners in prisons across the nation who have taken their own life since 2013.

According to the MOJ figures; Woodhill Prison, a category A institute in Milton Keynes, has seen the highest number of suicides over the past five years with 19 inmates taking their own lives.

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The average number of suicides over the past five years across all 91 institutions included in the data is 5.1, compared to Hindley’s two.

Wigan-born Stephen Connell was just 20 when he took his life in the Hindley rehabilitation institute in 2016 where he was serving a jail sentence for breaching his license conditions imposed for a burglary conviction.

An inquest carried out in January 2018 into Stephen’s death revealed that he was found hanging shortly after telling prison officers that he had taken an overdose.

Jurors expressed concerns that prison officers had failed to reconsider his inmate “privileges” in the days leading up to his death.

His lawyers said Stephen had refused to leave his cell amid fears for his own safety, which had earned him a number of negative entries for the prison’s Incentive and Earned Privilege (IEP) scheme.

The inquest heard he complained about being in his cell all day, that he may be hearing voices and had asked for a TV, which he was not entitled to under the IEP initiative.

Following the inquest his family said they hoped the prison would “act urgently” to implement changes to prevent further self-inflicted deaths at Hindley.

In March 2017, 35-year-old inmate Anthony Roland Hill, took his life just days after being given a restraining order against his partner.

An inquest into Anthony’s death detailed how he had been found collapsed on his cell floor with the words ‘hard to cope’ written on his arm.

The prisoner was also found with a high dosage of an anti-insomnia medication in his bloodstream, which he had not been prescribed, jurors heard.