Another remand prisoner dies at Woodhill jail

A man known to be at significant risk of suicide has become the 13th prisoner to die at Woodhill since 2013.

Thursday, 5th May 2016, 4:56 pm
Updated Thursday, 5th May 2016, 5:57 pm

Michael Cameron was found hanging in his remand cell on last week.

Still awaiting trial, he had allegedly been assessed by experts as very high risk of self-harm or suicide, sources have told the Citizen.

Mr Cameron, who was in his 40s, is the fifth prisoner to die at Woodhill over the past five months,

He had only arrived at the prison ten days previously. Before that, while held in custody at a police station, officers had put him on 
constant watch, it is claimed.

But at Woodhill, it is understood he was being checked every half an hour.

One source said: “It takes only a minute or two for someone to hang themselves. Inmates who are identified as at risk should be watched 

“How many more lives must be lost at Woodhill before something is done?”

The source added: “Some people may not have much sympathy because the people who have died are all prisoners. But they are still human beings, and much-loved sons, husbands or fathers.”

Most of the men who died at Woodhill were on remand and still technically innocent.

The jail has already been criticised by Her Majesty’s Prison Inspectorate, who said the number of self-inflicted deaths was “unacceptably high”.

In a report published last month the Inspectorate identified weaknesses in the support of men at risk. It found only 18 per cent of staff were trained in mental health awareness.

The Howard League for Penal Reform has also demanded urgent action to prevent any more tragedies at the jail.