The death of a vulnerable Chesterfield teenager who hanged himself in a custody cell is to be featured in a BBC TV documentary today, Thursday, April 24.
Bolton coroner’s court heard this month how Jake Hardy, 17, of Stonegravels, Chesterfield, hanged himself on January 20, 2012, while serving a sentence for affray and assault at Hindley youth offenders’ institution in Wigan.
The inquest jury concluded he died four days later as a result of his own deliberate act but found multiple failings by YOI staff contributed to his death after he had been bullied by inmates.
Deborah Coles, co-director of charity INQUEST, said: “The deaths of children and young people in prison should be a national scandal prompting national debate and government action.
“Many of the deaths could and should have been prevented and the mechanisms to protect vulnerable young people are failing.”
Jake is one of three youngsters who have died in custody and are to be featured in the documentary called Dead Behind Bars from 9pm today, Thursday, April 24, for BBC Three.
The film was inspired by INQUEST’s 2012 report Fatally Flawed. INQUEST has worked with others calling for a review into young deaths in custody.
In February, the Government agreed to commission an independent review into the deaths of 18-24 year-olds. INQUEST also wants an examination of the deaths of youngsters in this film. Emma Wakefield, Executive Producer at Lambent Productions which made the documentary for BBC Three, said the film tells a shocking story through bereaved families.
The mother of cell death teen Jake Hardy is considering civil action and backing INQUEST in its campaign to prevent youth custody deaths.
Mum Liz Hardy, 50, said: “I think the prison service and staff should listen to the kids they are looking after especially when they have special needs. They had Jake for 46 days in their care but they just wouldn’t listen to him.”
The charity INQUEST is campaigning for an overhaul of the treatment of youngsters in custody.