Reflections on a project to prevent suicide and self-harm among prisoners identified as high risk in two prisons in Northern England [2018]

This article critically explores the implementation and evaluation of a project designed, delivered and evaluated by frontline staff to improve prison responses to prisoner suicide and self-harm. We begin by evidencing the need for the project and detail its content, delivery and attempts at evaluation. We draw on the reflections of the three practitioners most closely involved in its development, delivery and review in order to explore lessons learned for future staff-led projects including those aimed at tackling prison suicide and self-harm.

Findings from staff reflections suggest that the development, implementation and evaluation of the project were influenced by a combination of issues around: project focus, communication and professional relationships, the institutional environment, funding and time, roll-out and evaluation, and the need for a ‘champion’ role.

There is limited evidence that the project left a modest positive legacy in terms of impact. A more substantial legacy of the project is provided in terms of actionable learning points for future projects of this nature.

Paul Biddle, Wendy Dyer, Richard Hand and Charlitta Strinati
Health & Justice, 2018 6:22