Self-inflicted Deaths in NOMS' Custody Amongst 18–24 Year Olds

Staff Experience, Knowledge and Views

by Amy Ludlow, Bethany Schmidt, Thomas Akoensi, Alison Liebling, Chris Giacomantonio, Alex Sutherland

This Report presents the findings of research into self-inflicted deaths (SID) in custody amongst 18–24 year olds in National Offender Management Service (NOMS) custody in England and Wales. This research was commissioned by the Harris Review into Self-Inflicted Deaths In Custody Amongst 18–24 Year Olds, and was undertaken by RAND Europe and the Prisons Research Centre, Institute of Criminology, University of Cambridge.

This research focused on staff experience, knowledge and views, which have been gathered through interviews and observations at five prisons in England and Wales. The document will be of interest to government, civil society and academic audiences interested in improving prisoner wellbeing and safety generally and SID reduction and risk management specifically.

The Report consists of seven sections that address the research questions set out by the Harris Review. Sections 1 and 2 provide an overview of the background, context and methods of the study. Sections 3–6 present the findings of the study relating to four key themes — how staff conceive of risk of SID, how SID risk is managed, staff training and institutional and individual responses to SID. The report closes with a review of promising practice and areas for improvement based on staff suggestions.

Please note: This report is not available on the RAND website but can be downloaded from the Independent Advisory Panel (IAP) on Deaths in Custody website.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One

    Background and Context

  • Chapter Two

    Methodology

  • Chapter Three

    Conceptualising Risk of Self-Inflicted Death and Identifying Risk Factors

  • Chapter Four

    Managing Risk of Self-Inflicted Death

  • Chapter Five

    Staff Training

  • Chapter Six

    Responding to Self-Inflicted Death

  • Chapter Seven

    Towards a Model of Better Practice?

  • Appendix One

    Towards a Theoretical Model of the Prisoners' Pathway to Suicide

  • Appendix Two

    Interview Schedule

  • Appendix Three

    Notice to Staff

Research conducted by

The research described in this report was prepared for The Independent Review into Self-inflicted Deaths of 18-24 year olds in Custody (The Harris Review) and conducted by RAND Europe.

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