Hafal conference seeks creative new solutions for Mentally Disordered Offenders in Wales

This week Hafal hosts a unique event giving professionals from across Wales the opportunity to work with patients and carers on developing a blueprint for a better deal for Mentally Disordered Offenders.

Reducing Risk, Achieving Recovery – Finding Answers for Welsh MDOs is a one-day conference held at the Pavilion Conference Centre, Llandrindod Wells on May 17.

The aim is to facilitate an in-depth examination of the current issues facing MDOs in Wales, breaking down the barriers to effective inter-agency liaison and working by involving professionals from diverse organisations – Health, Social Services, Probation, Police, Prisons, Academia and Sentencers – together with service users and carers.

It is estimated that there are over 2,000 Welsh people in UK prisons experiencing a mental health problem, including 400 with a severe mental illness.

Rebecca Remigio, Hafal Senior Consultant in Criminal Justice and Secure Services, said: “Home Office statistics indicate that the numbers of MDOs in prisons are the highest that they’ve ever been.

“The focus for this conference will be on attempting to find creative solutions to ensure that the foundation is laid for better services and more humane treatment of MDOs, whether that means diversion, equivalent healthcare in prison, or targeted provision of services for effective resettlement.”

Key participants attending the event include representatives from the Police, Probation, Prison and Crown Prosecution Services, the National Assembly’s Director of Mental Health, professionals involved in provision of health and social services in Wales, and others.

Hafal is committed to publishing highly practical event outcomes and offering consultancy to build on the ideas generated.

Solution-focused workshops will answer these questions:

• How can we divert more people with mental illness away from the Criminal Justice route?
• How do we achieve equivalency of healthcare in prison?
• How do we engage people who may be vulnerable, chaotic and hostile to services?
• What are the obstacles to overcome in providing housing for MDOs?
• Why are women and people from BME communities over-represented in this group?