Glen Parva has highest inmate suicide rate, charity says

Leicestershire’s Glen Parva Young Offenders Institution has the worst record for inmate suicides in the past four years, according to a charity’s research.

Six young men took their own lives at Glen Parva in the past four years, according to a report by Inquest.

Inquest published the report, which is called Stolen Lives and Missed Opportunities, this week.

It said 54 young people or children in prisons and young offenders institutions in England and Wales killed themselves in the four years between the beginning of 2011 and the end of last year.

Glen Parva’s six suicides gave it the highest number of self-inflected deaths. The second highest total was four, recorded at HMP Chelmsford, in Essex.

Many of the inmates had been diagnosed with mental illness, had learning disabilities or had come from troubled backgrounds, including homelessness and alcohol addiction, Inquest said.

Deborah Coles, co-director of Inquest, said: “This report exposes a litany of systemic neglect, institutionalised complacency and short sighted policies.

“These deaths are the most extreme outcome of a system that fails some of society’s most disadvantaged children and young people.

“Prison is an ineffective and expensive intervention that doesn’t work as revealed by the high re-conviction rates.

“This fails both victims and communities. Unless we radically rethink the way in which we respond to young people in conflict with the law the deaths will continue to shame our prison system and society.”

Responding to an inquest into the death of a Glen Parva inmate last September, a Prison Service spokesperson said: “We are committed to reducing the numbers of self-inflicted deaths in custody and will consider the findings of the inquest to see what lessons can be learned.”

“Young adults are a particularly challenging and vulnerable group, and that is why we have commissioned an independent review into the deaths of 18 to 24-year-olds in prison custody.”

Inquest has submitted its report to the ongoing review.