The darkest time period in Brixton’s modern history was during the 1990s.  In one eighteen month period fourteen prisoners and three staff took their own lives – a record for a British jail.  The lessons learned from that time mean such cases are now rare.

But suicide is a dark motif of the prison’s two centuries.  The document below shows the number of those who took their own life in 1948 and 1949 – none in the first year but two in the second.  There were many more attempts – one apparently so desperate he drank paint.


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