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  1. ITV Report

Self-harm incidents increase by 200% at Welsh prison

Self-harm incidents in Welsh prisons have reached a new high with one seeing a 200% increase in 2018.

The figures from Cardiff University's Wales Governance Centre show self-harm incidents increased at HMP Usk by 200%, HMP Cardiff by 89% and HMP Swansea by 56% in 2018. The number of incidents recorded at HMP Parc declined by 4%

The Sentencing and Imprisonment in Wales report says self-harm incidents (excluding HMP Berwyn) rose by 16% in the year ending March 2019, following a record figure the previous year.

Our findings reveal the persistence of a set of problems in Wales that include a record number of self-harm incidents, drug finds and weapons discoveries. Rising levels of homeless people entering prison and an over-representation of prisoners from ethnic minorities also continue to be serious issues.

The figures, which often vary greatly from overall figures for England and Wales, underline the need for all Welsh-only imprisonment data to be made freely available by the Ministry of Justice.

– Dr Robert Jones, report author

There were a total of 3,024 self-harm incidents in Welsh prisons last year.

The Ministry of Justice said £70million has been spent to improve security and conditions in prisons.

Too many people self-harm and take their own lives in prisons across England and Wales and we are taking action to stop it.

We have invested £70million in improving security and conditions, and recruited more than 4,700 new prison officers so every inmate can have a dedicated officer for support.

We’ve also given the Samaritans £1.5 million over three years, trained more than 24,000 staff in mental health awareness, and improved support for anyone at risk of suicide or self-harm.

– Ministry of Justice spokesperson