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The parents of a student who killed herself in jail have claimed the “stark reality” of suicide rates in Scotland’s prisons is being ignored.

Katie Allan was jailed for 16 months for a hit-and-run crash while drunk and later took her own life in Polmont Prison.

Her parents, Linda and Stuart Allan, said 40% of all prison deaths in the last decade were suicide.

The Allans are calling for greater support for inmates.

The Scottish government is expected to publish a review of mental health services for young people in custody later this year.

But the Allans have used a press conference at Holyrood to publish a raft of figures on deaths in custody in Scotland’s prisons.

They said their research showed that in the last 10 years 40% of prisoner deaths were suicides, with 32 of the 82 people who took their own life in that period under the age of 30.

Mrs Allan said: “Our campaign attempts to present to government ministers, academics and society the stark reality of what is going on in the halls of our prisons – no gloss over, no excuses, no spin, no soundbites.

“It is young people who are dying, it is not people on the life sentences, it is people who have been days or weeks in custody.

“People break the law, people get punished and if that includes a custodial sentence then so so be it.

“But we don’t have the death penalty in Scotland and people should not pay for their crimes with their lives.”

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