Commenting on the findings of today’s (29 September) report on mental health in prisons by the House of Commons Justice Committee, Peter Dawson, director of the Prison Reform Trust said: 

“The government should be deeply ashamed of the situation this report describes. We are sending mentally ill people to prisons where conditions are guaranteed to damage their health further. The first priority must be to provide the community options that will avoid the need for prison in all but the most serious cases. But there can be no excuse either for prison environments that are guaranteed to make ill people sicker and in which people all too frequently take their own lives.

“The government can find countless millions to build new prisons, but seems reluctant to invest with the same urgency in the services that would make that unnecessary. The result is morally as well as economically indefensible.”

Click here to read the committee's findings.