Prison suicides rise to record level in England and Wales

A record number of people killed themselves in prisons in England and Wales in 2016, figures show. The Ministry of Justice said there were 119 self-inflicted deaths - 29 more than the previous year and the highest number since records began in 1978. It also reported a record high of 37,784 self-harm incidents and 25,049 assault incidents. Justice Secretary Liz Truss said the figures were "very serious", but she was dealing with the problem.She said the government was investing an extra £100m into the prisons estate, as well as hiring 2,500 more officers.Last year thousands of staff walked out in protest over health and safety concerns, amid claims that the system was "in meltdown", while a number of serious disturbances erupted in jails.The figures show that in the 12 months to September 2016 there were: