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Prisoners: Mental Health

Volume 705: debated on Wednesday 19 November 2008

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they will provide primary care trusts and strategic health authorities with guidance on the implications of the imprisonment for public protection (IPP) sentence for their commissioning plans for prison mental health services, in the light of the Sainsbury Centre report In the Dark. [HL6206]

We welcome In the Dark, the Sainsbury Centre on Mental Health report on imprisonment, public protection sentences and mental ill health, and fully recognise that mental ill health among the prisoner population is high compared with the general population. The report raises some important points about the information available to prisoners and about access to treatment and care that we will certainly incorporate into our offender health strategy to be published early next year.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What plans they have to ensure that primary care trusts and mental health trusts can commission and provide mental health care for people released on life licence from imprisonment for public protection. [HL6207]

The Home Office launched the Five Year Strategy for Protecting the Public and Reducing Re-offending in February 2008. It contains a commitment to look at ways in which offenders receive effective mental health treatment, whether in prison, in a hospital setting, or in the community.

Offenders with identified severe mental health problems are subject to the care programme approach during their stay in prison and on release. This is a standardised formula for the care planning of treatment and continuity of mental health care for the individual. This means that on release from prison all should have a care plan and, pre-release, the prison mental health in-reach team inform and share information with the individual's local community mental health team and general practitioner.