The mental health effects of doing time

As part of its investigation into offender mental health in London, the London Assembly Health Committee held a public discussion on 19 April 2017, and sent out a call for evidence to stakeholders in both the public and voluntary sectors. We also visited the St Giles Trust to speak with service users and front-line practitioners, as well as hosting a round table with the Revolving Door Agency and ex-offenders.

Key findings on mental health for offenders:-

• Offenders and ex-offenders are particularly vulnerable before, during and after contact with the criminal justice system – and some groups are particularly at risk.

• More people are coming into contact with the police and criminal justice system due to poor mental health and the strain on mental health services.

• Prison environments in London are disastrous, although leaving prison can be as traumatic as entering, particularly where resettlement needs are not identified and met.

• Probation services are struggling to handle the mental health needs of their service users.

• Improving mental health support for offenders and ex-offenders will require a range of interventions including better joint working and data sharing.

• Crucially, London needs to find alternatives to prison sentences and support rehabilitation in the community.

• Supporting ex-offenders into housing and employment improves prospects and reduces the risk of re-offending.

• The Mayor is strongly placed to press for reform and to support changes to transform the outlook for ex-offenders.

Hippocratic Post

Hippocratic Post

The Hippocratic Editorial and VT team. Please send your suggestions to [email protected]
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