Fury after boy of 14 dies in custody

Campaigners are urging the government to rethink its strategy of
locking up vulnerable young people after a boy of 14 became the
youngest person to take his own life while in custody.

Adam Rickwood, who was on remand at Hassockfield secure training
centre in County Durham, was found hanging in his cell last

Since 1990, 25 under 18s have died in young offender institutions
and Adam was the second to have died in a secure training centre
this year.

A Howard League for Penal Reform spokesperson said the deaths
“prove that penal custody for children is unsafe”.

Pam Hibbert, Barnardo’s senior policy officer, asked why there is
not a public outcry when a child dies in custody, like there is
when a child dies by a failure of public services.

The charity wants more community alternatives to prison and those
who need to be placed in custody put in child-focused

Deborah Coles, co-director of campaign group Inquest, said the home
secretary could no longer resist the call for a public inquiry into
this “serious and disturbing human rights issue”. 

Community Care is calling for a reduction of children
being held in custody. Go to www.communitycare.co.uk/backontrack 

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