Lord Bradley's review published
30 April 2009
In 2007, the Government commissioned Lord Bradley to conduct an independent review into potential opportunities and barriers to diverting people with mental health problems or learning disabilities from prison into other services. Initially this was intended to focus around court liaison and diversion schemes, but ultimately it was extended to a wider interpretation of diversion encompassing all aspects of the 'offender pathway' including prevention and early intervention.
Revolving Doors Agency gave evidence to the review.
Lord Bradley reported to Government in February 2009, and the report, Lord Bradley's review of people with mental health problems or learning disabilities in the criminal justice system, was published today.
Lord Bradley recognised that:
"the needs of released prisoners are complex, and many of these elements are interlinked. For example, if mental health problems are not resolved, an individual may have difficulty gaining and keeping employment, or problems in maintaining accommodation which in turn may impact on their chances of employment. There is a need to ensure that people coming out of prison have access to a range of services to tackle these issues."
The report made a number of recommendations that are relevant to the 'revolving doors' group, such as liaison and diversion schemes in all police custody suites, suitable 'places of safety', improved mental health awareness training for front-line criminal justice staff, an evaluation of treatment options for prisoners with personality disorder, and the urgent improvement of services for prisoners who have dual diagnosis of mental health and drug/alcohol problems.
In particular, he recommended that 'Local Safer Neighbourhood Teams' should play a key role in identifying and supporting people in the community with mental health problems or learning disabilities who may be involved in low-level offending or anti-social behaviour by establishing local contacts and partnerships and developing referral pathways. Revolving Doors' Islington Neighbourhood Link Worker scheme was highlighted as a good practice example within the review.
To read the review in full, please follow the link here.