Magazine article Public Finance

Ministers Back Mental Health Prison Reforms

Magazine article Public Finance

Ministers Back Mental Health Prison Reforms

Article excerpt

The government has endorsed a report urging comprehensive reforms to the way people with mental health problems and learning difficulties are dealt with in the criminal justice system.

The report by Lord Bradley recommends the establishment of local criminal justice mental health teams. They would be overseen by a national programme board supported by an independent advisory group.

But former chief inspector of prisons Lord Ramsbotham told Public Finance he was concerned that the government had agreed to the recommendations only in principle. 'That could mean anything,' he said.

He did not think ministers had a hope in hell' of acting on the recommendations in the current Parliament He added: 'I hope the Conservatives are hooked into this.'

Ramsbotham applauded Bradley's work, but added that the report should have advised putting a single official in charge of offenders' mental health. …

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