Call for inquiry over 'unbroken pattern' of deaths at prison

The prison service is facing calls for a corporate manslaughter investigation after a litany of failures at one Milton Keynes site resulted in an “unbroken pattern of deaths”, with 18 inmates taking their own lives in four years. HMP Woodhall came under fire during an inquest in to one of the fatalities that prompted demands for a national response to a “broken and dangerous prison system and the unacceptable death toll”. Deborah Coles, director of campaign group Inquest, said the death of 35-year-old Daniel Dunkley, who killed himself in July last year, showed warnings had been ignored and raised serious questions for senior managers at the site. “The unbroken pattern of Woodhill deaths reveals a systematic failure at a local and national level to act in response to critical inquest findings and recommendations for action,” she said. “The prison service must be held accountable for failures to implement recommendations and this litany of failures. They have clearly ignored warnings about the risks to health and safety of prisoners and the necessary sanctions should be enacted against those responsible.