Self-harm by young people in custody

Published

1. Main facts and figures

  • in 2017/18, the rate of self-harm by White young people in custody was just over 5 times that of young people from all other ethnic groups combined
  • for every 100 White young people, there were 19.8 incidents of self-harm each month
  • there were 3.4 incidents of self-harm per 100 young people from all other ethnic groups combined
Things you need to know

The data records the number of times an act of self-harm was reported, not the number of people who self-harmed or how often they harmed themselves.

Estimates based on a larger number of people are generally more reliable. There are more White young people in custody so estimates for this group are more reliable than estimates for all other ethnic groups.

What the data measures

This data measures rates of self-harm by young people in custody, broken down by ethnicity. Each incident of self-harm by a young person in custody is counted and their ethnicity recorded. Rates are expressed per 100 young people in custody per month (on average across the financial year) from 2010/11 to 2017/18.

Self-harm is any act where a young person deliberately harms themselves, regardless of how they do it, what their intent is, or how badly they are hurt.

'Young people’ are between 10 and 17 years old. The data may also include some 18 year olds.

The data includes young people held in: young offender institutions secure children’s homes * secure training centres

The ethnic categories used in this data

The number of young people in custody involved in incidents of self-harm was too small to draw any firm conclusions based on specific ethnic categories. Therefore, the data is broken down into the following 2 broad categories:

  • White – White ethnic groups (including White British and White ethnic minorities)
  • Other – all other ethnic minorities

2. Incidents of self-harm by young people in custody by ethnicity

Rate of self-harm incidents per 100 young people in custody, and average number of incidents per month, by ethnicity
Ethnicity Rate Average population per month Average number of self harm incidents per month
White 19.8 656.9 130.3
Other than White 3.4 527.1 17.9

Download table data for ‘Incidents of self-harm by young people in custody by ethnicity’ (CSV) Source data for ‘Incidents of self-harm by young people in custody by ethnicity’ (CSV)

Summary

This data shows that:

  • in 2017/18, there were 19.8 incidents of self-harm per 100 White young people in custody per month on average
  • there were 3.4 incidents of self-harm per 100 young people in custody from all other ethnic groups combined

3. Incidents of self-harm by young people in custody by ethnicity over time

Rate of self-harm incidents per 100 young people in custody, and average number of incidents per month, by ethnicity over time
White Other than White
Time White Rate White Average Population per month White Average number of self harm incidents per month Other than White Rate Other than White Average Population per month Other than White Average number of self harm incidents per month
2010/11 5.5 1,911.4 105.3 1.3 971.2 12.9
2011/12 7.3 1,727.7 125.9 1.6 1,039.8 16.9
2012/13 7.8 1,381.3 107.5 1.3 860.8 11.4
2013/14 9.5 1,025.9 97.0 2.0 628.3 12.7
2014/15 10.5 866.1 91.0 3.2 549.8 17.8
2015/16 12.4 766.4 95.3 3.8 524.0 20.2
2016/17 12.8 653.7 83.6 4.4 509.0 22.5
2017/18 19.8 656.9 130.3 3.4 527.1 17.9

Download table data for ‘Incidents of self-harm by young people in custody by ethnicity over time’ (CSV) Source data for ‘Incidents of self-harm by young people in custody by ethnicity over time’ (CSV)

Summary

This data shows that:

  • between 2010/11 and 2017/18, the rate of self-harm has been consistently higher for White young people in custody than for those from all other ethnic groups combined

4. Methodology

Self-harm is measured as the rate per 100 prisoners. The figures are taken from prison population monthly snapshots at the start of each month and averaged across a 12-month period.

The data is checked, but as with all large administrative surveys errors and omissions can occur.

Rounding

Percentages have been rounded to 1 decimal point. Due to this, some figures may not add up to 100.

Counts have been rounded to the nearest whole number. All calculations have been made using unrounded figures.

See the Youth justice annual statistics for unrounded figures and the percentages calculated from them.

Related publications

Youth justice statistics

Quality and methodology information

Further technical information

The Ministry of Justice use a reconciliation process to validate the data they receive each year. Figures published before the release of the 2017/18 statistics may have been updated.

5. Data sources

Source

Type of data

Administrative data

Type of statistic

National Statistics

Publisher

Ministry of Justice

Publication frequency

Yearly

Purpose of data source

Youth justice data is used by the government to develop, monitor and evaluate criminal justice policy for young offenders. It reports on activity in the criminal justice system for England and Wales, giving information for the latest year and also longer-term trends.

6. Download the data