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EDITIONS
 Friday, 10 January, 2003, 10:42 GMT
Concern over prison suicides
Exeter Prison
Three men committed suicide at Exeter Prison in 2002
Three men committed suicide at Exeter Prison last year, according to latest figures.

The jail was named as one of 10 institutions across England and Wales which saw three or more inmates taking their own lives in 2002.

Campaigners at the Howard League for Penal Reform, which compiled the list, say there is too much overcrowding in prisons.

Two of the men who died in Exeter were under 25 and one had not yet been convicted of a crime.

I do agree with virtually everything the league says

Ian Mulholland,
Governor, HMP Exeter
The Howard League said that, overall, prison suicides are up by 22%.

Among the 94 prison inmates who committed suicide in England and Wales last year were a 16-year-old boy and nine women.

The Howard League said it is the highest figure they have ever recorded.

The director of the Howard League, Frances Crook, said the main reason for the increase in such deaths is overcrowding, brought on by unnecessary prison sentences.

Non-violent offences

"This level of suicides is not acceptable in a civilised society," she said.

Exeter Prison governor Ian Mulholland said: "I do agree with virtually everything the league says.

"However, I don't think the situation is hopeless. There is a lot of investment going into the prison to address the situation.

"There are too many people coming into prison for non-violent offences and there are probably better ways we can deal with those people in the community."


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09 Jul 02 | England
22 Jan 02 | England
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