In 2018/19, ten people died each week following release from prison. Every two days, someone took their own life. In the same year, one woman died every week, and half of these deaths were self-inflicted.
This report, co-authored by Dr Jake Phillips of Sheffield Hallam University and Rebecca Roberts of INQUEST, provides an overview of what is known about the deaths of people on post custody supervision following release from prison. It highlights the lack of visibility and policy attention given to this growing problem and calls for immediate action to ensure greater scrutiny, learning and prevention.
The report makes the following recommendations:
- National review: the government should proceed with its national review of deaths of people on post-release supervision in the community following a custodial sentence to establish the scale, nature and cause of the problem.
- Data: more detailed and accurate data should be made available along with regular reporting to the Minister responsible and Parliament alongside the publication of an annual report.
- Investigations: deaths of people on post custody supervision should be investigated by an independent body with adequate resources allocated to allow this to happen. There needs to be a threshold for this with a range of factors taken into account.
- Improve scrutiny and learning: the Government needs to confirm oversight at a local and national level.