Intended for healthcare professionals


Mentally ill people in prisons

BMJ 2000; 321 doi: (Published 12 August 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;321:448

Prison service policy on seclusion has changed

  1. Steve Gannon, health care manager
  1. Her Majesty's Prison Bedford, Bedford MK40 1HG
  2. Her Majesty's Prison Birmingham, Birmingham B18 4AS

    EDITOR—On 30 March 2000 the prison service issued instruction 27/2000, which announced the immediate elimination of the use of strip cells in the management of prisoners identified as being at risk of suicide or self injury. This long overdue decision on policy may be heavily influenced by the Human Rights Act 1998. Interestingly, the prison service cramps governors' budgets by stating that alterations to create a safer cell have to be met from existing capital resources.

    I agree with Reed and Lyne's proposal that the care of mentally ill offenders should be provided within the NHS.1 We in the prison service …

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