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Mental health provision for young people in custody to be reviewed
An independent review of mental health and other support for young people entering the Polmont prison and young offenders institution Polmont is being set up.
Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf announced the review, which follows public concern over the deaths in the institution of Katie Allan and William Lindsay, each soon after their admission.
A mental health expert will work with the independent HM Inspectorate of Prisons for Scotland and others to review mental health provision, including background information available ahead of admission, reception arrangements, and ongoing support and supervision for those in custody.
The review will look at relevant operational polices, practice and training, and report by the spring. In addition, the Cabinet Secretary for Health & Sport, Jeane Freeman, has confirmed that NHS Forth Valley has already engaged with the Scottish Prison Service to assess and augment provision for people living at Polmont.
In a letter to the Scottish Parliament’s Justice & Health committees, Mr Yousaf said: "Where practical, the review will also look at comparisons between the support and arrangements in place in secure care accommodation and HMP&YOI Polmont. As with current formal inspection and independent monitoring arrangements for prisons, the review will include direct engagement with young people in custody about their experiences. The review will not consider the specific circumstances of recent cases which are the subject of current or future mandatory fatal accident inquiries...
"Details of the mental health expert to be appointed to the review of mental health support in Polmont, and the scope and remit and formal terms of reference of the review, are now being determined in dialogue with HM Inspectorate of Prisons and other relevant agencies."