Care of mentally ill prisoners is “clearly dysfunctional”

BMJ 2006; 333 doi: (Published 09 November 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;333:989
  1. Zosia Kmietowicz
  1. 1London

MPs and peers have said that a “fundamental shift” is needed in the way offenders with mental health problems are treated in the United Kingdom if levels of crime are to be tackled and the prison population reduced.

“Massive investment” is needed to bring mental health services in prison in line with those offered in the community—something that the government has promised but that is still far from being achieved, they say.

In an interim report focusing solely on mental health the all party parliamentary group on prison health has labelled prisons as “clearly dysfunctional” in the way they deal with prisoners' mental health problems.

Lord Ramsbotham, former chief inspector of prisons, said: “Prison health is a …

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