Below is a breakdown of deaths in women’s prisons in England and Wales by calendar year (January-December) since 2012.

Figures for the current calendar year and for 2021-2020 may be incomplete as they are based on INQUEST 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 Deaths in prison custody 1978-2008).

For total figures of deaths in prisons, see deaths in prison.

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 information please get in touch with us.

Find out more about INQUEST's campaign to end the inappropriate use of imprisonment for women. 

Deaths in women's prisons by apparent cause, England and Wales 2012-2022
Year Self-inflicted Non self- inflicted Awaiting classification Total
2022 1 0 0 1
2021 0 5 3 8*
2020 2 6** 0 8*
2019 5 4** 0 9
2018 3 6 2 11
2017 2 6 0 8
2016 12 9 1 22
2015 5 3 0 8
2014 3 9 0 12
2013 2 4 0 6
2012 1 3 0 4
 Totals 36 55 6 97

Source: INQUEST casework and monitoring


* Figures for 2020-2021 and the current calendar year may be incomplete as they are based on INQUEST's casework and monitoring.

** 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.

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.

Additionally, there have been a number of self-inflicted deaths of transgender women held in men's prisons. That we are aware of, there has been one death of a transgender woman in a men's prison each year in 2018, 2017 and 2016, two in 2015, and one in 2013. Two of the self-inflicted deaths listed above (in 2006 and 2016) were of transgender women held in women's prisons.

Figures last updated 17 March 2022.