Adult social care services have a vital, and often overlooked, role in supporting the large number of people with multiple needs who offend to desist from crime, according to a new joint briefing by the Prison Reform Trust, the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS), the Centre for Mental Health and Revolving Doors Agency.
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A new report released today by the Prison Reform Trust and YoungMinds reveals that high numbers of vulnerable children with mental health needs and learning disabilities are getting caught up in the criminal justice system. The charities found that children who offend have health, care and education needs which, if not met, could lead to a lifetime of ill health, unemployment and crime.
A new prison service instruction is set to improve sentencing planning for prisoners, especially for those serving an Indeterminate sentence for Public Protection (IPP) and for people who have a learning disability.
The Health Secretary Andrew Lansley and the Justice Minister Crispin Blunt have outlined the progress made towards diverting people with mental health needs from the justice system into treatment and care at a Westminster reception on 23 April.
The ministers detailed steps taken towards the creation of a national liaison and diversion service for vulnerable offenders by 2014, backed by Department of Health investment of £50 million towards its development and evaluation.
Community penalties are now outperforming short prison sentences, according to statistics released today from the latest edition of the Prison Reform Trust’s Bromley Briefings Prison Factfile. If government succeeds in reforming the justice system, building on the success of community measures including diversion into health treatment where appropriate, and holding prison numbers to an unavoidable minimum, it could deliver on its promise of a “rehabilitation revolution”.
The Ministry of Justice green paper is a blueprint for moderate and sensible reform and should mark the end of sterile debate on toughness or softness on crime. Rather than settling for policy-making on the hoof or enduring a crisis-driven justice system, the Secretary of State for justice has opened a proper consultation on sentencing and rehabilitation based on evidence of what works.
An unwieldy and opaque justice system is unlawfully undermining the ability of thousands of vulnerable adults and children to understand what is happening to them at court, leaving them to fend for themselves, according to a report published by the Prison Reform Trust.
"This action plan charts the way for many vulnerable people out of the criminal justice maze into health and social care. It will come as a relief to so many families who have sought help in vain to know that their relatives will be assessed and treated at last."
The discrimination faced by people in Wales with learning disabilities in the criminal justice system is ‘personal, systemic and routine’, according to a Prison Reform Trust report being launched at the Welsh Assembly by Health & Social Services Minister Edwina Hart.
A new approach to dealing with mentally ill offenders and those with learning disabilities could prevent this vulnerable group being caught in the revolving door of the criminal justice system. It could cut crime, improve health, reduce police and court workloads and free up prison places for serious and violent offenders, according to Lord Bradley's independent review published today and welcomed by the Prison Reform Trust.