• Question: Do you think the justice system provide enough support to criminals suffering with mental health issues?

    Asked by AA to Robert, Olly, Nicola, Jasmin, Dennis, Caroline on 12 Jun 2019.
    • Photo: Jasmin Moon

      Jasmin Moon answered on 12 Jun 2019:

      Unfortunately I don’t know enough about the justice system to be able to answer this question properly. I remember reading that around 40% of people in prison have mental health problems and I would imagine that if their mental health issues are addressed that they are less likely to commit further crimes when they are released. So I really hope that they have access to psychological support, however this is probably difficult with the staff shortages in prisons.

    • Photo: Dennis Relojo-Howell

      Dennis Relojo-Howell answered on 12 Jun 2019:

      I think so. There are government programmes in place to ensure that offenders with mental health issues receive the support they need.

    • Photo: Robert Dempsey

      Robert Dempsey answered on 12 Jun 2019:

      I’m not completely sure on this – I don’t tend to work with prison-based populations. I do know that a lot of clinical trials relating to mental health take place in prisons. Unfortunately, many people who are imprisoned go in with or develop some quite significant mental health issues. I do think that prison should help to rehabilitate people and ensure that they rejoin society ready to contribute and that they are in a good state of health to do so. I think the justice system is well aware of these issues with prisoner mental health and there are therapeutic trials focusing on prisoner mental health going on as we speak.

    • Photo: Oliver Clabburn

      Oliver Clabburn answered on 13 Jun 2019:

      I’m afraid I don’t know much about the justice system and have not been involved in any related work. As Robert said though, I am also aware that people quite often go into prison with MH issues as they are ‘hidden’ and things might become worse while they are inside. Alternatively, some of these people may actually receive some MH support where they wouldn’t have if they hadn’t been in the justice system.

    • Photo: Caroline Brett

      Caroline Brett answered on 13 Jun 2019:

      Wow, great question and a really important one.
      Like the others, I don’t know much about the criminal justice system now. I would hope people get the help they need, as things have changed a lot in the last few decades towards a more rehabilitative approach

    • Photo: Nicola Johnstone

      Nicola Johnstone answered on 13 Jun 2019:

      I have no clue really. I know charities such as the Samaritans provide outreach services and visit prisons to provide support to prisoners but beyond that I really couldn’t comment, sorry!