Politicians who urge tougher sentencing for criminals are contributing to the rise in prison suicides, according to the chief inspector of prisons.
Anne Owers said it prompted an overcrowding "crisis" and would cause more deaths in UK prisons.
Prison numbers reached an all-time high of 76,897 earlier this month. There were 95 prison suicides in 2004.
The Home Office has projected that the nations' prison population may reach 90,000 by the end of the decade.