Compulsorily Detained Psychiatric Patients: Prisons

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 26th September 2019.

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Photo of Lord Bradley Lord Bradley Labour

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many times the courts in England and Wales used prison as a place of safety in each of the last five years.

Photo of Lord Keen of Elie Lord Keen of Elie The Advocate-General for Scotland, Lords Spokesperson (Ministry of Justice)

An error has been identified in the written answer given on 09 September 2019.

The correct answer should have been:

Prison may be used as a ‘place of safety’ if the court is satisfied that an individual should be kept in custody for his/her own protection. This is set out under the Bail Act 1976.

Specifically, for individuals with serious mental illness, the Mental Health Act 1983 sets out that a person may be remanded in custody for between 7 and 28 days awaiting available treatment and detention in hospital.

The Ministry of Justice does not hold data on either of the circumstances set out. The decision to remand is taken by the individual sentencing court, and reasons for remand are not recorded centrally.

The Government is clear that those suffering from a mental disorder of a nature or degree that warrants treatment and detention in hospital (i.e. a severe mental disorder) should be able to access that treatment as quickly as possible. Our forthcoming response to the independent review of the Mental Health Act will address the recommendation in that context around prison as a ‘place of safety’.It has not proved possible to respond to this question in the time available before Prorogation. Ministers will correspond directly with the Member.

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Photo of Lord Keen of Elie Lord Keen of Elie The Advocate-General for Scotland, Lords Spokesperson (Ministry of Justice)

Prison may be used as a ‘place of safety’ if the court is satisfied that an individual should be kept in custody for his/her own protection. This is set out under the Bail Act 1976.

Specifically, for individuals with serious mental illness, the Mental Health Act 1983 sets out that a person may be remanded in custody for between 7 and 28 days awaiting available treatment and detention in hospital.

The Ministry of Justice does not hold data on either of the circumstances set out. The decision to remand is taken by the individual sentencing court, and reasons for remand are not recorded centrally.

The Government is clear that those suffering from a mental disorder of a nature or degree that warrants treatment and detention in hospital (i.e. a severe mental disorder) should be able to access that treatment as quickly as possible. Our forthcoming response to the independent review of the Mental Health Act will address the recommendation in that context around prison as a ‘place of safety’.It has not proved possible to respond to this question in the time available before Prorogation. Ministers will correspond directly with the Member.

Does this answer the above question?

Yes0 people think so

No0 people think not

Would you like to ask a question like this yourself? Use our Freedom of Information site.