THE Scottish Government last night announced plans to set up independent expert review of mental health and other support for young people entering the Polmont Young Offenders Institution.

The move comes after a campaign by the families of Katie Allan and William Lindsay, who both took their own lives while in custody there.

Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf announced the review – which will look at relevant operational polices, practice and training and report by the spring – in a letter to the Scottish Parliament’s justice and health committees.

Health Secretary Jeane Freeman also confirmed that NHS Forth Valley has already spoken to the Scottish Prison Service to assess and augment provision for people detained at Polmont.

The review will look at mental health provision for young people entering custody, including obtaining any background information available ahead of their admission, reception arrangements, and ongoing support and supervision while in custody.

Yousaf said in his letter: “Every death by suicide is a tragedy, and a death in custody can rightly raise particular questions for families.

“I have expressed my deepest of sympathies to the families of Katie and William. I had the opportunity to express this personally to Katie’s parents when I met them on November 13.

“As with any death in custody a mandatory and independent fatal accident inquiry investigation will be undertaken by the Crown Office into the deaths of both Katie and William. It is important that those independent investigations are allowed to proceed.

“However, I have reflected on some of the more immediate questions raised particularly around the provision of mental health support and services for young people in custody.”