Self-harm far too common to research

Self-harm and suicide by young people in custody is widespread, the
Back on Track campaign launch event heard.

Prison Reform Trust director Juliet Lyon said research into the
trauma suffered by young people who had witnessed such tragedies
had never started as they had been unable to find a control group
of children in custody who had not seen or heard an inmate
self-harm or try to take their own life.

The revelations came as a new study from the Royal College of
Psychiatrists found that “copy cat” suicides could account for one
in 10 suicides by current and recent mental health patients. Seven
out of every eight children in custody are believed to have a
mental illness.

More than 85 per cent of respondents to Community Care‘s
youth justice survey believe that detaining children with mental
health problems should end immediately (news analysis, page 16, 8

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