Prisoners: Mental Illness

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 11th January 2018.

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Photo of Imran Hussain Imran Hussain Shadow Minister (Justice)

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment his Department has made of the suitability of the physical environment in prisons constructed in the 19th century for prisoners who are experiencing mental health problems.

Photo of Phillip Lee Phillip Lee The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

The department remains committed to reforming our prisons to make them safe and secure establishments with access to health, including mental health, services to support the rehabilitation of offenders in custody.

Evidence shows that prisoners typically have more complex physical and mental health needs than the general population and we are committed to addressing these. Our prison estate reforms will see us close ageing prisons and deliver high-quality, modern establishments fit for today’s demands. Our prison estate reforms will benefit prisoners with mental health concerns through reconfiguration plans for the estate. Although the department has not undertaken a prison-by-prison assessment of each establishment’s suitability, we have taken expert advice from clinicians, commissioners and social care experts on the design of the new prisons to ensure that we create the right environment for treatment and care.

We continue to work closely with our health partners to ensure that offenders in all prisons are assessed at the appropriate time and can access the treatment and support required for their mental health needs.

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