If you have serious concerns about a prisoner who has expressed suicidal feelings or threatened to harm themselves in any way, please voice your concerns immediately.

You can contact the prison and ask for the Duty Governor or Safer Custody department, and tell him or her about the issue.  

The switchboard should not refuse to put you through to the Duty Governor if you tell them a prisoner is suicidal, self harming or in physical danger. 

You can also contact the Prisoners' Families Helpline (0808 808 2003) and our volunteers will be able to get directly in touch with the prison. 

Will the prisoner be punished?

No. If the prisoner is deemed to be at risk of suicide or self-harm the prison will ensure that they are correctly supported and monitored until they are no longer considered to be at risk. 

What help is available in prison?

Prisoners can approach officers on the wing with problems or concerns - if the prison assigns personal officers, that would be the person to speak to in the first instance. If the prisoners prefer to talk to another inmate, many prisons have Listeners who are trained and supported by the Samaritans who will listen to them in confidence and who are available 24 hours a day. 

Who else can they talk to?

Members of the Board of Visitors will visit the prison frequently and the prisoner can request to see one. Most prisons have a direct telephone link to the Samaritans and this can be accessed any time. They can also speak with one of the prison Chaplains.