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Research has shown that a hotline set up for relatives to report concerns about a prisoner’s welfare in England and Wales, was not working properly and had not actually been set up in more than one third of prisons. In most instances, where there was a line available, the calls were going through to an answering machine.
One relative of a prisoner said that they had called the service around 20-25 times during the first half of this year and only around 40% of the calls were answered. The relative said that, where the calls were answered, the prison staff said that they would check on the prisoner and call back, but they have never rung back.
Ministry of Justice figures show that incidents of self-harm within prisons in England and Wales have increased dramatically in the last ten years. Read more about the research here