Mental Health Foundation's response to the Ministry of Justice's green paper

Release Date: 10 December 2010

Source: Mental Health Foundation

Country: United Kingdom

In response to the Ministry of Justice's Green Paper "Breaking the Cycle: Effective Punishment, Rehabilitation and Sentencing of Offenders", Simon Lawton Smith, Head of Policy at the Mental Health Foundation says:

"We strongly welcome the Green Paper's proposals to divert more offenders with mental illness from the criminal justice system.

"However this will require additional resources for community mental health services, substance misuse teams, social care, housing and employment services. At the moment many such services are under threat due to public spending cuts. Without adequate investment the Government's proposals risk failing.

"While developing diversion schemes, it is important not to forget how many people in prison have mental health problems that are not adequately treated. The Government's forthcoming mental health strategy needs to address this as a matter of urgency.

"We have supported Lord Bradley's strong focus on early intervention. Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services and Children's Trusts have vital roles to play in helping young offenders and young people at risk of offending."