THE Howard League for Penal Reform has responded to the Prison and Probation Ombudsman’s learning lessons bulletin on young adult prisoners who died by suicide, published today.

The charity has campaigned for changes to the treatment of young people in custody since the suicide of 14-year-old Burnley prisoner Adam Rickwood in 2004.

The report reveals that, between April 2007 and March 2014, 89 young people aged 18 to 24 took their own lives in prison. Two-thirds of these young people had identified mental health problems and one in five had been subjected to bullying in the month before they died.

Frances Crook, Chief Executive of the Howard League for Penal Reform, said: “Every death in prison is a tragedy and almost all are preventable.

“Prisoners are dying for want of a radio to listen to or a book to read. Cries for help are going unheard. Families’ concerns are being ignored. It is a shocking indictmen.”.”