A high proportion of people who are taken into custody and who receive prison sentences have mental health issues, including experiencing serious mental illness such as psychosis and bipolar disorder.

We are taking a close interest in the Government's plans to develop Distress Brief Interventions to better support people who are in crisis and help to prevent suicide.

Health services within criminal justice are now delivered by the NHS but all professionals recognise nevertheless that custody and prison is not an appropriate place for someone who is unwell.

The actions we are taking:

  • Produced a report of 10 case studies of people who have experienced custody whilst in mental distress and made recommendations based on that report
  • Developing links with Police Scotland in areas of Scotland to explore possible new work to support people going into and being discharged from custody
  • Developing policy work to raise awareness of the issues