It has been found that a significant number of individuals die in prison across Wales and England. Most half of the deaths in prison from 2000 to 2016 were self-inflicted. Self-inflicted deaths refer to when an individual unintentionally or intentionally take away his or her own life (commits suicide). In 2016, 120 self-inflicted deaths were reported in Wales and England’s prison.
The guards of the prisons also believe that they don’t have adequate and sufficient power to deal with individuals suffering from mental health illnesses. People living in prisons are most likely to commit suicides in contrast to those living in communities. For example, in the case of Sara Reed, 32 years was found dead in Holloway prison. She was placed on remand and mental health assessments were performed. Sara was first being treated in the mental health hospital where someone tried to abuse her sexually.
The mental hospital instead of handing over the accused to the police handed Sara and accused her. This shows the inequality and power issue faced by Sara of being black and being less powerful than the mental hospital authorities. Moreover, concerning the conventional understanding and common sense, Sara was not provided with her mental health medicines in prison, which would have helped her in controlling her illness. Conventionally, it is also perceived by most of the states and people that mental health people are more like prisoners and must be sent to prison just like Sara. The case of Sara also reflected upon the racial discrimination she faced by the prison’s staff that resulted in her undue death. One of the prime examples of the failure of structure and agency is the racial discrimination being practiced by the criminal justice system (prison). Sara Reed is a proper example of it and also the disproportionate staffing and hiring of employees in prison from different cultural backgrounds. Most of the prisons only have white staff. Many cases have been reported in the past based on the number of deaths of black people due to the failure of prison’s adequate structure.