Research and Policy Statistics Deaths in prison In this country we do not give a death sentence, but for everyone who has taken their life in prison that is exactly what they got - Mark Saunders, whose son Dean died in HMP Chelmsford in 2016 Below is a breakdown of deaths in prison in England and Wales by calendar year (January-December) since 2011. These figures do not include deaths in immigration removal centres (IRCs) and immigration detention centres, but do include deaths of people held in prisons as immigration detainees and those being transported by or in the custody of prisoner escort services. See also: Deaths in women’s prisons. INQUEST also monitors the deaths of children and young people and black and minority ethnic people in prison. We are currently in the process of reviewing and updating our statistics on these pages. If you require this or any other information unavailable in our Statistics and monitoring resources, please get in touch with us. As a small team, we are unable to respond to all requests, and detailed information requests may take one to two weeks to gather. If your request is urgent, please mark it as such and give a brief explanation as to why. For any media requests, please get in touch via our media enquiry form. For further information and resources visit our campaign pages: Prisons Women's prisons Now or never! Legal aid for inquests The latest statistics released by the Ministry of Justice in January 2020 show that every four days a person takes their life in prison. The Ministry of Justice report that in the 12 months to September 2019, self-harm incidents reached a new record high of 61,461 incidents, up 16% from the previous 12 months. This is more than double the number of self-harm incidents than in the same period in 2014 (24,748). In January 2020, INQUEST published a report on the deaths of people in prison. The evidence presented in Deaths in prison: a national scandal, is gathered from our casework and monitoring of inquests, providing a unique insight into the harms and dangers of imprisonment. Containing case studies and original analysis of jury findings and coroners’ reports, it reveals the repeated and systemic failings documented at inquests across a two-year period. VIEW REPORT Total deaths in prison custody by apparent cause, England and Wales 2011-2021 Year Self-inflicted Non self-inflicted Awaiting classification Total 2021 39 143 27 209* 2020 67 222** 30 319* 2019 84 176** 41 301 2018 92 195 38 325 2017 71 213 9 293 2016 124 227 3 354 2015 89 167 0 256 2014 89 153 0 242 2013 76 139 0 215 2012 61 131 0 192 2011 58 134 0 192 Totals 850 1900 148 2898 * Figures for 2020 and the current calendar year and 2020 may be incomplete as they are based on INQUEST's casework and monitoring. The data for previous calendar years are derived from official sources. For data going back to 1978, visit the Ministry of Justice website (see Table: Deaths in prison custody 1978-2019). ** In September 2019, a newborn baby died in HMP Bronzefield; another baby was stillborn in HMP Styal in June 2020. The Ministry of Justice does not routinely collect or publish data on miscarriages, stillbirths and neo-natal deaths so the number of deaths of babies born to imprisoned mothers may be higher. Source: INQUEST casework and monitoring Figures last updated 18 June 2021.