Public inquiry likely over suicidal teenage prisoner, says Howard League

The government could launch a public inquiry into the treatment of a teenage girl in prison, the Howard League for Penal Reform claimed yesterday.

The charity said Home Office ministers are likely to agree to its request for an inquiry into the case of SP, a girl who repeatedly attempted suicide after being sent to prison.

However, a Home Office spokesperson said no decision had yet been made.

Howard League director Frances Crook said an inquiry would be particularly significant because it could hear from SP, who is now in a mental hospital.

The charity first acted for the girl in 2003 after she was transferred from a local authority secure children’s home to an adult women’s prison on her 17th birthday.

In prison she was placed on suicide watch and held in solitary confinement.

In 2004 the charity won an Appeal Court ruling on the case that gave children in prison the right to argue against being placed in solitary confinement.

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