The mother of a student who killed herself in jail has slammed the Government’s “independent expert” review of deaths in custody as a “sham”.

Linda Allan said those leading the review were too close to the prison service to be considered independent and the remit was too limited for effective change.

She said: “It is not an independent review and it looks only at the ‘aftermath’ of deaths in custody, not the errors and negligence leading up to them.

"It just won’t wash. I would say, don’t bother wasting taxpayers’ money with this version of a review.”

Linda Allan has slammed Polmont and the appointment of Wendy Sinclair-Gieben

The inquiry is being led by HM Chief Inspector of Prisons for Scotland Wendy Sinclair-Gieben, with input from the head of Families Outside, a charity which relies on Scottish Government funding.

Linda – whose daughter Katie, 21, killed herself in Polmont Young Offenders’ Institution – was outraged after Sinclair-Gieben described the jail as “a leading edge institution Scotland could be proud of”.

Katie’s suicide in June 2018, as well as that of William Lindsay, 16, who died while on remand at Polmont, will make the institution a focus of the inquiry.

Glasgow University student Katie was locked up for 16 months for a knocking down a 15-year-old boy while drunk.

Linda claims bullying and “humiliating” strip searches led her daughter to take her own life.

She said: “It was hard to hear Polmont being described by her as ‘leading edge’. This was the institution that killed our daughter.

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“We don’t have any faith in Wendy Sinclair-Gieben being independent when she has heaped such high praise on Polmont.”

Sinclair-Gieben defended Polmont following a review of mental health services for young people there.

That review was ordered by the Scottish Government after the deaths of Katie and William.

There were 258 prisoner deaths in Scotland between 2008 and 2018 and 40 per cent were suicides.

Linda described the numbers as “nothing short of a massacre”.

There have also been a series of death in custody scandals.

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “We are taking this issue seriously, with two reviews enacted – one looking at deaths in custody and the other around mental health in Polmont.”

The inquiry is being led by Wendy Sinclair-Gieben

Sinclair-Gieben will lead the death in custody review with input from Nancy Loucks, chief executive of Families Outside.

The charity’s board of trustees include Dan Gunn, a former governor of five prisons including Polmont. He was also director of operations at Scottish Prison Service headquarters.

Last night, Loucks insisted neither she or Gunn would hesitate to criticise the Government or Prison Service “where criticism is due”.

She added of the review: “The Allans and others will of course be invited to contribute.”