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Number of prisoners in England and Wales on suicide watch rises steeply

Scale of mental health crisis in prisons has escalated during Covid pandemic, Guardian investigation finds

  • ‘I dread the phone call’: families’ fears for loved ones in prison

The number of prisoners put on suicide or self-harm watch has risen dramatically over the past decade, a Guardian investigation has found, as experts warn the scale of the mental health crisis in prisons has escalated during the coronavirus pandemic.

There were 15,615 prisoners put on ACCT (assessment, care in custody and teamwork) plans – which are designed to manage those at risk of suicide or self-harm – during the first half of 2020, only 10% less than the figure for the whole of 2010.

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