Speaking at the Scottish Parliament a year on from Katie Allen’s imprisonment, her bereaved parents, along with their lawyer, Aamer Anwar, presented the findings of their own research into 258 prison deaths in Scotland and the lack of information provided to families about the circumstances of their loved ones’ deaths.
The research revealed that deaths in prison had increased from 19 in 2008 to 29 in 2018, while the percentage of prisoner deaths due to suicide had “rocketed” from 35 per cent to 50 per cent in the same 10-year period.
While 63 per cent of the prisoners who died had known mental health needs and 56 per cent had a history of suicide attempts, only 38 per cent had had contact with a mental health nurse and less than a third were under observation at the time of their death.
The research also revealed the extent to which families were having to wait for closure, with long delays to fatal accident inquiries into the deaths. As of December 2018, 67 families were still waiting for FAIs into the deaths of their loved ones, with some dating back to 2014 and 2015.
Read more in Holyrood Magazine here.
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