Suicide prisoner 'lacked support'

Suicide prisoner 'lacked support'

Concerns have been raised about the handling of a prisoner who took his own life inside HMP Maghaberry in Co Antrim in 2012.

A report from the Prisoner Ombudsman said the man, referred to as Mr E, was not provided the level of support offered to other vulnerable inmates.It highlighted a series of issues over his nine weeks in the jail, including a communication breakdown which meant that medications for depression and anxiety - which were prescribed in the community - were discontinued once Mr E entered prison.Meanwhile cues such as the inmate's personal efforts to highlight his anxieties, and an apparent deterioration in his mental health, were missed - and he was not referred for psychiatric assessment, despite fulfilling criteria that indicated this ought to have been done.The ombudsman made 13 recommendations after reporting on the case.Tom McGonigle said: "Although Maghaberry had the necessary arrangements in place to support vulnerable prisoners, Mr E was not identified as needing them."The NIPS (Northern Ireland Prison Service) and SEHSCT (South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust) have accepted all our recommendations and made subsequent improvements that aim to improve the care of vulnerable prisoners in the future."

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