The inquest into the death of Daniel Adewole starts today in Maidstone, Kent.
Daniel, aged 16, died in Cookham Wood child prison on 4 July 2015. He was the 34th child to die in prison custody since 1990, the year the UK signed the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which requires that children be only ever detained as a measure of last resort.
At the time of Daniel’s death, the Youth Justice Board stated it was not aware of any suspicious circumstances.
Article 39’s Director, Carolyne Willow, says:
“We should all be suspicious of children dying alone in prison cells, miles away from their families and communities.
“It is shameful that we continue to lock up children in prisons designed to make adults suffer, and incomprehensible that this area of policy has been trapped in a time-warp for so long. Just last week the European anti-torture committee said the use of solitary confinement in Cookham Wood and other child prisons amounts to inhuman and degrading treatment.
“While this inquest is foremost about justice for Daniel Adewole and his family, we have to hope it will help bring about intelligent and humane change for all children.”