Prison suicides warning

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The Independent Online
The number of suicides in custody will increase unless the incarceration of 15-year-olds is prohibited, the Penal Affairs Consortium warns today.

The consortium of 24 penal groups including the Prison Governors' Association says the minimum age at which people can be held in prison cells should be raised from 15 to 16.

'Holding juveniles in the prison system has no place in a civilised society,' it says in a report published today. 'It is a recipe for intimidation, criminal contamination and suicide attempts.' The few juveniles for whom secure establishments are necessary should be placed in local authority accommodation, it says.

There have been three suicides of 15-year-olds in prisons in the past two years.