Tale of Two Inquests

  • Linda Moore
  • Phil Scraton
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Prisons and Penology book series (PSIPP)


Since the early 1980s, the regularity and circumstances of deaths, including suicides, and self-harm in custody have become matters of profound concern throughout Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Women prisoners have been over-represented in suicide and self-harm statistics. When death occurs in custody, the State has a duty to ensure that it is investigated effectively and expeditiously. In Northern Ireland, deaths in custody are investigated by the office of the Prisoner Ombudsman. Torture, inhuman and degrading treatment are prohibited under Article 3 of the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR). This is an absolute right and in international human rights law there are no justifications for its breach, regardless of circumstances. It is difficult to successfully progress Article 3 cases as the European Court has consistently set a high bar for defining treatment as inhuman and degrading, until recently equating it closely to torture.


Personality Disorder Therapeutic Community Prison System Young Offender Male Prisoner 
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Copyright information

© Linda Moore and Phil Scraton 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Linda Moore
    • 1
  • Phil Scraton
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Criminology, Politics and Social PolicyUniversity of UlsterUK
  2. 2.School of LawQueen’s University BelfastUK

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