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    Self-harm in women's prisons 'a concern'


    by ODN


    Self-harm among women prisoners remains a "serious concern", according to an independent watchdog.

    Prison staff are resorting to extreme measures, including force, to stop inmates wounding themselves, a report found.

    The Chief Inspector of Prisons said the problem is most obvious in local prisons, where many new prisoners begin their sentence.

    Dame Anne Owers said there is "commendable work" in many women's prisons, but more must be done to protect vulnerable inmates.

    Although women make up only 5 per cent of the total prison population, they account for almost half of all self-harm incidents.

    In one year 11,747 incidents were recorded among a prison population of around 4,300 women. In 2009, there were three women prisoner suicides, a fall from a peak of 14 in 2003.