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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
‘You have clearly made yourselves a force to be reckoned with, a powerful instrument for good. In the process you have not only achieved real change in an aspect of our common life which would have commanded little attention or esteem were it not for your efforts, but you have at the same time offered enormous support to those bereaved people who long for a clear verdict on the death in custody of someone who means a great deal to them.’
– Dr Peter Selby, President of the National Council for Independent Monitoring Boards