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Harris review of deaths of 18-24 year olds in prison - call for submissions
23 May 2014
On 6 February 2014, the Justice Secretary announced an independent review into self-inflicted deaths in National Offender Management Service custody of 18-24 year olds. Lord Toby Harris, Chair of the Independent Advisory Panel on Deaths in Custody (IAP), will lead this review and will be supported by IAP members including INQUEST's co-director Deborah Coles.
Toby Harris has described this review as a 'once in a generation opportunity' to improve the care of some of the most vulnerable people in custody:
"I am determined that this review will pull together the key learning from the deaths so that we can help ensure that 18-24 year olds and indeed vulnerable people in all age groups, including children do not continue to die when they are under the protection of the state."
The review is a direct response to the policy, legal and campaign work that INQUEST has been conducting around the call for an independent examination of the deaths of children and young people for many years, and was the key recommendation in our report with the Prison Reform Trust, Fatally Flawed. Whilst we were deeply concerned that the government excluded children from the review and continue to lobby for their formal inclusion, we welcome Lord Harris's recognition that the review will consider the key learning from child deaths.
INQUEST will be putting in a detailed submission and co-ordinating family input to ensure families’ experiences are properly reflected within the review.
We would urge all those with views and/or experience in this area to make a submission to support the review process. Please find the call for submissions and further details about the review via this link
Queries relating to INQUEST's submission can be directed to INQUEST or for specific information about the review itself to Tom Shaw of the Review team via email: Tom.Shaw@justice.gsi.gov.uk
‘I’ve been a long-time supporter of the crucial work that INQUEST does. Until there is legislation to change the way inquests are conducted and the provision of legal and psychological support to the bereaved of those who died in custody, INQUEST will continue to be a vital source of support for families.’
– Linton Kwesi Johnson