A fatal accident inquiry is due to begin into the deaths of two people who took their own lives in a young offender institution.

Katie Allan, 21, and William Lindsay, 16, were found dead in their cells in separate incidents at Polmont Young Offenders Institution in 2018, and their deaths will be investigated at the inquiry starting at Falkirk Sheriff Court on Monday.

Ms Allan’s parents Linda and Stuart are expected to give evidence during the early days of the FAI, which is due to last three weeks, while Mr Lindsay’s brother John Reilly will represent his family.

The inquiry will explore the circumstances of both deaths, with particular focus on the Scottish Prison Service’s “Talk To Me” strategy in relation to the prevention of suicide in jails.

It will seek to establish what, if any, precautions could have been taken, or could be implemented to minimise the risk of future deaths in similar circumstances.

Mental health nurses are among those expected to give evidence.

Katie Allan and William Lindsay inquiryKatie Allan’s parents Linda and Stuart, pictured with solicitor Aamer Anwar, will give evidence to the FAI (PA)

Mr Lindsay, who had been in care repeatedly, died at Polmont on October 7, 2018 – three days after being admitted as there was no space in a children’s secure unit, despite a history of making attempts on his life. He had been sent there on remand.

His mother and two sisters have died during the five-year wait for an inquiry.

Ms Allan, a student at Glasgow University, was found dead on June 4, 2018 while she served a 16-month sentence for drink-driving and causing serious injury by dangerous driving, which she had admitted.

The families’ solicitor Aamer Anwar said: “The families hold the Scottish Prison Service and health service directly responsible and will fight to ensure other lives can be saved.”

He said both families want Crown immunity – which means organisations such as the prison service cannot be prosecuted – to be lifted in a bid to hold the Scottish Prison Service (SPS) to account for failings under the Health and Safety Act, which he said were identified as “materially contributing” to the deaths.

READ MORE: Families waiting eight years for fatal accident inquiries

He urged First Minister Humza Yousaf to address the issue of lifting Crown immunity with the UK Government.

A statement from Mr Anwar said: “Both the families believe the passage of time has allowed a Scottish Prison Service to operate behind a veil of secrecy, covering up systemic failures and preventable suicides.

“In October 2022, the families were told the Crown Office found a breach of the Health and Safety Act ‘materially contributed’ to both deaths, but due to Crown immunity no criminal proceedings could be raised.

“The lifting of Crown immunity must be a priority for the Scottish Government. To date there has been no response.”

Katie Allan deathKatie Allan died while an inmate at Polmont in 2018 (family handout/PA)

A Scottish Prison Service spokesperson said: “The loss of any person in our care is devastating and we recognise the profound impact it has. Everyone who enters custody is assessed to identify what support is needed.

“Given a fatal accident inquiry is to be held imminently into the deaths of Katie Allan and William Lindsay, it would be inappropriate for us to comment further.”

READ MORE: Fatal Accident Inquiry to probe deaths of two young people at Polmont

A spokesperson for the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service said: “We acknowledge that the wait for these proceedings has been too long and has caused distress for Katie and William’s families.

“The FAI will allow a public airing of all the evidence at which families and interested parties will be represented.

“The families and legal representatives will continue to be kept updated as the inquiry progresses.”

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “Our thoughts are with every family who has been bereaved by suicide in prisons.

“We cannot comment on these cases with the approaching fatal accident inquiry and we will carefully consider the outcome.”