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Hospitals (Secure Units)

Volume 984: debated on Monday 12 May 1980

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asked the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) how many secure accommodation units are needed to absorb the current level of mentally sub-normals now in prison in Scotland;(2) how many hospitals will be having secure accommodation units built on to them in the next two years; and how many beds will be provided in Scotland;(3) how many hospitals at present have secure accommodation units in Scotland.

In Scotland, the State hospital at Carstairs provides secure accommodation for mentally ill or mentally defective patients who have dangerous, violent or criminal propensities. For patients who do not require such a high degree of security, but who nevertheless at times display disturbed behaviour to such an extent as to constitute a risk to themselves or to others, intensive nursing care is provided in wards, which may where necessary be locked, in psychiatric or mental deficiency hospitals. My right hon. Friend has no plans to provide " secure units " recommended in the interim report of the Committee on Mentally Abnormal Offenders which dealt with the situation in England and Wales.There is no recognised category of mentally sub-normal prisoners in Scottish prisons. The Mental Health (Scotland) Act 1960 and the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1975 provide for the imposition of hospital orders in respect of mentally disordered offenders and for the transfer to hospitals of prisoners who are found to be suffering from mental disorder.