M.05 Prisoners at risk of self harm

The purpose of the risk assessment is to identify the level of self harm risk that each prisoner presents and to minimise this risk as quickly and safely as possible.

Policy for assessing prisoner risk

  1. The Department of Corrections acknowledges that:
    1. all prisoners by virtue of being in prison pose an increased risk of self harming behaviour
    2. all staff are responsible for the early identification of a prisoner’s at-risk status, and for taking immediate action when such risk is identified
    3. assessing risk of self harm is not an exact science, especially within the prison setting, as prisoners can present with a number of predisposing factors such as drug misuse and mental health problems
    4. the assessment is a dynamic process where levels of risk often change
    5. all prisoners are vulnerable to some degree and often give “clues” when they are worried. Sometimes there are “cues” in their personal histories (the predisposing factors), which can lead to the view that they are especially vulnerable. Risk assessors need to be aware of these “clues and cues”.

The Department has two assessments, each tailored to address specific areas of risk. They are:

  • M.05.01 Reception risk assessment
  • M.05.02 Review risk assessment