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06 October 2010

PRT response to government’s action plan on offender health

Commenting on the publication of the government’s action plan on offender health, Juliet Lyon, director of the Prison Reform Trust, said:

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.

For too long we have locked up our most vulnerable people in our most bleak institutions. Why waste time and public money building new prisons when it is clear that our jails are full of people in urgent need of proper mental health and social care?

The shadow hanging over these reforms is that words won’t be matched by action because of departmental turf wars or the money won’t be found because it’s being sunk into building more prisons. If we can end the buck-passing between the NHS and the justice system and hold them to account for implementing this plan, then the pay-off is that we can improve public health and cut crime.