Responding to the statistics released today showing that self-harm incidents in custody have risen again, reaching a record high, Liberal Democrat Justice Spokesperson Daisy Cooper said:
"Our prisons are in crisis. The number of self-harm incidents, especially in women’s prisons, is shockingly high and rising.
"Because of overcrowding and under-staffing, prisoners spend far too much time locked in their cells, with a lack of support or purposeful activity. To make matters worse, the Conservative Government has introduced new laws that its own assessment says could well lead to more violence and self-harm in prisons.
"Liberal Democrats are calling on the Government to end overcrowding, including by scrapping pointless short sentences that cause overcrowding and actually increase re-offending.
"Women should only be sent to prison where absolutely necessary: for the most serious crimes, or where they pose a threat to the public. Effective community-based sentences would be far better for preventing re-offending, and far less damaging for the people involved."