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Prisoners: Health

Volume 507: debated on Thursday 11 March 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent estimate he has made of the number and proportion of (a) youths, (b) adult males and (c) adult females in custody following sentencing who experienced (i) drug dependency health problems, (ii) alcohol dependency health problems and (iii) serious mental health problems in the last 12 months. (321122)

I have been asked to reply.

The Department does not collect information on the number and proportion of sentenced prisoners (including young offenders (18 to 20 years), adult males and adult females) who experienced drug dependency and alcohol dependency health problems.

A source of information regarding prevalence of substance misuse among sentenced prisoners is “The problems and needs of newly sentenced prisoners: results from a national survey” published by the Ministry of Justice in October 2008. This reviewed 1,457 newly sentenced prisoners from 49 prisons.

In 2008, 703 sentenced prisoners were transferred from prison because of a mental illness severe enough to warrant treatment in a mental in-patient facility commissioned by the national health service.