Mental health and the criminal justice system

The scale of mental health problems in the UK's criminal justice system is shocking, it has been claimed. Speaking ahead of his speech on the subject at the Centre for Mental Health, Labour's Shadow Justice Secretary Sadiq Khan said prisons "have been warehouses" for individuals with specialist requirements for too long.

Mr Khan explained the needs of these individuals can be better met elsewhere, while prison staff are unable to cope with the pressures placed on them.

He said that while the last Labour government aimed to identify people with mental health needs that might find themselves sent behind bars, "the aim is now to divert them away into proper specialist treatment without shying away from the importance of punishing those for the crimes they've committed". 

The politician - who is also the MP for Tooting - noted future Labour governments will place a priority on combating the mental health crisis prevalent in today's justice system.

You can read the full text of Sadiq Khan's speech on the Centre for Mental Health website.