A review into the response to deaths in prison custody has called for families to be involved from an early stage.

The report of the Independent Review of the Response to Deaths in Prison Custody, published today, also recommends investigations be undertaken sooner.

It follows two years of research, analysis and engagement with families affected by deaths in custody, as well as prison and NHS staff.

The key recommendation is that an independent body should carry out a separate independent investigation into every death in prison custody.

The solicitor for the families of two prisoners who died in police custody insists the findings of a review following their suicides is a “damning indictment of the Scottish Prison Service”.

Aamer Anwar, lawyer for the families of Katie Allan and William Lindsay, added: “For the last three years, the families we represent have decried a prison system in crisis that has directly led to deaths.

“For far too long, the SPS has known that no matter how catastrophic their failure in duty of care to prisoners, they will never face justice.”

Student Katie, 21, died at Polmont Young Offenders Institute after officers failed to act when she showed signs of being vulnerable.

She was serving six months for driving into a boy while over the limit.

William, 16, killed himself three weeks into a three-month term for knife possession and assault.

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