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Women's Prisons: Death

Question for Ministry of Justice

UIN HL17198, tabled on 16 July 2019

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Keen of Elie on 8 July (HL16975), what process Her Majesty’s Prison Service uses to (1) record, (2) classify, and (3) centrally collect information about, any deaths of those imprisoned in women’s prisons.

Answered on

30 July 2019

All deaths in custody are reported to Her Majesty's Prison & Probation Service within 24 hours. That report includes (among other things) the name of the deceased, the date they died, their gender, and a brief description of the circumstances of their death. Where possible the report will give a provisional cause of death. The prison is also obliged to report the death to the Prisons & Probation Ombudsman, to allow her investigation to begin, and all deaths in custody are the subject of an inquest. The cause of death may be updated later in light of the Ombudsman’s report and/or the coroner’s verdict.

The answer to question 16975 gave figures taken from data that the Government published on 25 April 2019, covering deaths in custody up to the end of March. My officials have double-checked and I can confirm that those figures were correct. Data about deaths in custody can be inspected using the Deaths data tool at As the question was about deaths during 2019, the causes of death are provisional and may be updated once the investigations outlined above have been concluded.

The table below gives the number of deaths at HMP Styal and HMP Peterborough in March, April and May 2019.

HMP Styal

HMP Peterborough

March 2019

1 (self-inflicted)


April 2019


1 (self-inflicted)

May 2019

1 (self-inflicted)