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Mental Health Services: Prisons

Volume 475: debated on Tuesday 13 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Justice on recommendations 1.39, 1.42 and 1.44 of the HM Inspectorate of Prisons report entitled The Mental Health of Prisoners Thematic, published in October 2007. (204267)

The report, The Mental Health of Prisoners Thematic (HMIP, 2007) made a number of recommendations about improving mental health care in prisons. The Department of Health is preparing its response to all these recommendations.

I meet regularly with ministerial colleagues at the Ministry of Justice to discuss matters relating to mental health in prisons. In December 2007, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Justice invited my noble Friend Lord Bradley of Withington to carry out a review into diverting more offenders with severe mental health problems away from prison into more appropriate accommodation, (5 December 2007, Official Report, column 1703-6). Lord Bradley will report jointly to the Department of Health and the Ministry of Justice.