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Mental Health: Prisoners

Volume 497: debated on Wednesday 14 October 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the number of prisoners diagnosed with serious mental illnesses since July 2000; and if he will make a statement. (290011)

Although there are no officially recognised data on prisoners with severe mental illness, we are aware that there is a significant number of people in custody suffering from serious mental illness. A review of mental health in reach teams for the National Institute for Health Research in 2008 suggested that around 23 per cent., of the prison population suffer from severe mental illness.

The Government will be publishing its response to Lord Bradley’s review of people with mental health problems and learning disabilities in the criminal justice system in the autumn as part of a wider ranging offender health strategic delivery plan. This response will include the Government’s plans for improving mental health care for prisoners.