Storm forces Ombudsman to cancel address to PORSCH Network on deaths of offenders February 27, 2017 Storm Doris forced the Ombudsman to cancel his address to the Prison and Offender Research in Social Care and Health (PORSCH) Network in the North East region on 22 February. In his planned speech, he drew attention to the worrying rise in the number of deaths of women in custody: “One particularly worrying increase occurred among women. In 2015-16, there were 12 deaths but already this year there have been 21. For the first time since 2007, there is now a higher number of self-inflicted deaths per 1000 prisoners among women than men. We will be exploring this sad development in a new Learning Lessons bulletin next month.” The Ombudsman went on to discuss other themes arising from his investigations, notably: the pervasiveness of mental ill health in prison and its close association with self-inflicted deaths; and the destructive impact of the epidemic of new psychoactive substances in prison and its impact on death in custody You can read the full speech here.