Learning the lessons from the deaths of children and young people in prison

The Prison Reform Trust and Inquest have published what looks like an insightful report into the deaths of children and young people in prison.

Given our work in Polmont, and the work that we’re about to start with Alcohol Concern in looking at the links between alcohol use and entry into the criminal justice system, this report may have significant things for us to be aware of.

They point out:

The lives of children and young people in prison are characterised by social inequality; educational failure; drug, alcohol and mental health problems; experience of abuse, bereavement and neglect that go hand in hand with high offending rates. Their custodial experience exacerbates and compounds this vulnerability.

And quote studies which found that 39% of girls and 34% of boys had a problem with drugs on arrival in prison.

In looking at the cases of 98 young people who had died while in custody they found that school exclusion, ADHD diagnosis and drug and alcohol dependency “featured prominently”.

Download the report here.

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