Skip to main content

Prisoners (Mental Deficiency And Insanity)

Volume 529: debated on Monday 21 June 1954

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department the number of men and women, respectively, who have been certified in prison during the last three years under the Lunacy Acts and under the Mental Deficiency Acts, respectively; what is the number of such persons committed to Broadmoor and how many were under 21 years of age; and on what principle certified prisoners are selected for committal to Broadmoor.

The following table shows the number of persons certified insane in prisons or Borstal Institutions in England and Wales and removed to Broadmoor Institution or to a local mental hospital under Section 2 of the Criminal Lunatics Act, 1884, during the years 1951, 1952 and 1953. The table does not include persons found insane on arraignment or guilty but insane The figures for 1953 are provisional.

YearInstitution to which removedNumber of persons certified
1951Broadmoor institution.2121
Local mental hospital.841498
1952Broadmoor institution.17118
Local mental hospital.9713110
1953Broadmoor institution.12113
Local mental hospital.8718105

Two of the persons removed to Broad-moor Institution, both male, were under 21 years of age.The following table shows, for the years 1951, 1952 and 1953, the number of persons certified mentally defective while detained in prisons or Borstal institutions.


Persons so certified are not sent to Broad-moor, but to appropriate institutions for mental defectives.Each case is considered according to its particular circumstances, but, in general, persons who are certified insane while serving sentences of imprisonment or Borstal training are not sent to Broad-moor Institution unless they are considered to be unsuitable for removal to a local mental hospital, by reason of the violent and dangerous character of their insanity, or of their previous history, or of the nature of the offence of which they have been convicted.