Reoffenders: Mental Illness

Justice written question – answered on 12th February 2014.

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Photo of Matthew Offord Matthew Offord Conservative, Hendon

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what estimate her Department has made of the number of repeat offenders with undiagnosed mental health issues.

Photo of Jeremy Wright Jeremy Wright The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

Two Ministry of Justice surveys of offenders (Surveying Prisoner Crime Reduction (SPCR) and the Offender Management Community Cohort Study (OMCCS)) indicate there are offenders within the system who have unidentified mental health issues that could impact on their offending. However it is not possible to make an assessment of the number as these offenders remain undiagnosed.

To improve the identification of offenders with mental health problems, the Government is developing a Liaison and Diversion Programme at police stations and courts to identify, assess and refer those with a range of vulnerabilities, including mental health issues, into treatment so that health problems can be picked up early on in the criminal justice process. £25 million is being invested in 2014-15 to test and evaluate a standard service specification for Liaison and Diversion in 10 areas in England. If successful, the ambition is to roll out services to every criminal court and police custody suite in England by 2017-18.

SPCR:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/220060/gender-substance-misuse-mental-health-prisoners.pdf

OMCCS:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/206734/results-omccs.pdf

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