Assaults in prisons increase to new high amid record number of self-harm cases

Violence in prisons in England and Wales is continuing to surge with assaults and self-harm at record levels, official figures show.

Assaults inside jails increased to a record high of 27,193 incidents in the year to June 2017, Ministry of Justice (MoJ) data reveals.

There were also a record number of assaults on staff, with 7,437 incidents recorded - a rise of a quarter from the previous year.

Rise in prison violence
(PA Graphics)

Over the same period, self-harm in prisons reached a record high of 41,103 incidents, an increase of 12% from the previous 12 months.

The record high in number of assaults on staff was caused by a 9% rise in the latest quarter, creating a new quarterly record high of 2,011 incidents.

The number of prisoner-on-prisoner assaults was the highest recorded since the data series began, at 19,678.

Meanwhile, the number of deaths in custody in the year up to September fell to 300 - a fall of 24 from the previous 12 months.

Some 77 of these were self-inflicted deaths, down 33 from the previous year.

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