Today the Howard League for Penal Reform published its report on the number of people who die while under the supervision of the Probation Service, including the deaths of those under supervision following release from custody.
The study found that a large amount of recorded deaths occurred as a result of natural causes. However suicide, alcohol abuse, unlawful killing, misadventure, and ‘unknown causes’ also featured significantly.
The report concludes that further information is needed about deaths under probation supervision, so that prevention may become a priority. It highlights suicide investigation as being of particular importance.
However the study also found that it is unclear how well equipped probation staff are to either aid the families of those who die under their supervision, or indeed the extent to which they may help their more vulnerable clients. For this reason, the report recommends that probation staff are themselves in need of greater support.
The report may be downloaded here.