Report says prison inappropriate for people with mental health problems

Troubled Inside, a new report by the Prison Reform Trust, has found that up to three-quarters of men in prison suffer from two or more mental disorders and about one in ten have a functional psychosis.

Juliet Lyon, Director of the Prison Reform Trust, said: “Many men in prison are mentally ill, much of their offending is a public health concern, not a criminal justice one. The solution is not investing in more prisons, but fixing gaps in mental health care, drug treatment and diversion from police stations and courts to treatment.”

Meanwhile, the Independent has suggested that many people with severe mental illness may be being detained, without treatment or trial, on remand.

Frances Crook, Director of the Howard League for Penal Reform, commented: “Remand is now being used inappropriately to deal with all sorts of problems. Often, when there are no psychiatric beds, somebody will be remanded just so their psychiatrist can actually know where they are.”

Welsh charity Hafal recently produced a report on mental health in the criminal justice system. To read more, click here.