Overcrowded jails are struggling to cope with rising levels of severe mental illness, with nearly two suicides a week and epidemic levels of self-harm, the chief inspector of prisons warned today.

Prisons in England and Wales can do little more than "skim the surface of the severity and breadth of mental illness" among their inmates, which last year resulted in 95 suicides and 17,678 incidents of deliberate self-harm, according to the annual review of the chief inspector, Anne Owers.
Prison staff resuscitated 228 prisoners who attempted to kill themselves, she reported.

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