The Prison Reform Trust (PRT) is an independent UK charity working to create a just, humane and effective penal system. They do this by inquiring into the workings of the system; informing prisoners, staff and the wider public; and by influencing Parliament, government and officials towards reform.
They have recently highlighted the mental health problems in UK prisons and the statistics make for uneasy reading.
26% of women and 16% of men said they had received treatment for a mental health problem in the year BEFORE custody.
25% of women and 15% of men in prison reported symptoms indicative of psychosis. The rate among the general public is about 4%.
Self-inflicted deaths are 8.6 times more likely in prison than in the general population.
70% of people who died from self-inflicted means whilst in prison had already been identified as having mental health needs. However, the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman (PPO) found that concerns about mental health problems had only been flagged on entry to the prison for just over half of these people.
The PPO’s investigation found that nearly one in five of those diagnosed with a mental health problem received no care from a mental health professional in prison.
The PPO also found that no mental health referral was made when it should have been in 29% of self-inflicted deaths where mental health needs had already been identified.
40% of prisons inspected in 2016 – 2017 had inadequate or no training for prison officers to know when to refer a person for mental health support.
CLICK HERE for more information about ‘Prison Reform Trust’
CLICK HERE for information about ‘Prisons and Probation Ombudsman’