Below is a breakdown of deaths in women’s prisons in England and Wales by calendar year (January-December) since 2009.

Figures for the current calendar year 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 on 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

Deaths in women's prisons by apparent cause, England and Wales 2009-2019
Year Self-inflicted Non self- inflicted Awaiting classification Total
2019 5 1 2 8*
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
2011 2 3 0 5
2010 1 7 0 8
2009 3 4 0 7
  39 55 5 99

Source: INQUEST casework and monitoring


NOTES

* 2019 statistics: Figures for the current calendar year may be incomplete as they are based on INQUEST casework and monitoring.

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 9 December 2019.