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Mentally Handicapped Offenders

Volume 974: debated on Monday 26 November 1979

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will take action against those local authorities who have not yet embarked upon a programme of medium-secure units for mentally handicapped offenders.

I assume the hon. Member is referring to regional secure units, which are intended for patients requiring a degree of security greater than that of the ordinary psychiatric hospital but less than the very high degree of security provided by the special hospitals. Some patients may be mentally disordered offenders, but by no means all will be.All regional health authorities are engaged in planning regional secure units, and my right hon. Friend and I will continue to press the three authorities which have not so far submitted proposals for such units for departmental approval to do so as soon as possible.