Lack of action over the number of children and young people dying behind bars represents a "devastating indictment of bad practice", according to a former chief inspector of prisons.
Nine children and more than 190 other young people aged 24 and under have died in prisons or secure training centres in the last 10 years according to campaigners.
A new report by the Prison Reform Trust and the Inquest campaign claims systemic failures in prisons, the justice system and agencies are contributing to their deaths.
The lack of action over the past decade is a "devastating indictment of bad practice", former Chief Inspector of Prisons Lord Ramsbotham said.
"Too often 'tough' talk about crime and punishment does not result in the authoritative action needed to rectify the flaws in our criminal justice system," he wrote in the foreword to the report called Fatally Flawed.
I am saddened and perplexed by the continuing and repeated refusal of successive governments to properly investigate through a public inquiry the circumstances that have led to the deaths of child prisoners. Yvonne Bailey, Jospeh's mum
"Until and unless named individuals are made responsible and accountable for ensuring that things happen, nothing will happen.
"I think that it should be a matter of serious concern that the findings in Fatally Flawed echo what has been said, repeatedly, for years, and are a devastating indictment of bad practice."
'Saddened and perplexed'
The report comes more than 10 years after Joseph Scholes hanged himself in his cell at Stoke Heath Young Offenders' Institution in Shropshire.
Yvonne Bailey, Joseph's mother, who has long called for a public inquiry, said she read the report "with sorrow".
"It is now over a decade since my son Joseph died in fear and distress hanging from the window bars of his squalid cell in a children's prison," she said.
"The deaths of a further nine young boys are devastating evidence that the changes implemented were yet again wholly insufficient to fulfil the duty on the state to protect the right to life of the children it imprisons.
"I am saddened and perplexed by the continuing and repeated refusal of successive governments to properly investigate through a public inquiry the circumstances that have led to the deaths of child prisoners."
The report, which looked at the experiences of 98 children and young people who died, found they were "some of the most disadvantaged in society" and had experienced problems with mental health, self-harm, alcohol and drugs.
In many cases there were communication failures between community agencies and prisons while, in others, they were placed in prisons with unsafe environments and cells, the report said.
It added that poor medical care and limited access to therapeutic services in prison also caused problems and some children and young people had been exposed to bullying, segregation or restraint.
26 August 2011
28 August 2012
18 September 2012