The report is a result of the independent review that began in February 2014, led by Lord Toby Harris. The review examined self-inflicted deaths in custody since April 2007 with the purpose of assessing whether lessons had been learned from those deaths and if not, what steps should be taken. The report states:
‘The 87 cases we examined in detail demonstrated that many of the young people’s problems and vulnerabilities, including mental health issues, had been evident from an early age. We had to ask the question, why were so many of these young adults in custody in the first place? Prison should be used as a last resort. Much more needs to be done to address these problems and to divert these young people from the criminal justice system at an earlier stage in their lives. What is more a reduction in the overall prison population would make it easier for prisons to provide an environment that meets appropriate standards of decency, safety and respect.’
The report can be read in full here.