Letter: Youth prison neglect

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The Independent Culture
Sir: I read with anger and disgust the report into HM Young Offenders' Institution Feltham by HM Chief Inspector of Prisons ("Inspector `appalled' by youth prison", 26 March). It only confirms what Inquest has been saying for years about the failure of the Prison Service to learn the lessons.

Between August 1991 and March 1992 four boys took their own lives in Feltham. I worked with their families and attended the inquests. These revealed a catalogue of institutional neglect and impoverished conditions and regimes, failings in suicide prevention and inadequate health care. There have been other deaths since and high incidences of self-harm.

That so little has changed is a damning indictment of the way in which young offenders are dealt with by the criminal justice system and exposes the lack of accountability of the Prison Service.