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Call for Evidence

Mental Health in Prison

One in four people will experience a mental health problem of some kind each year in England. Most research suggests that people in prison are more likely to suffer from mental health problems than people in the community. Over the past 10 years the number of self-harm incidents has increased, and is at the highest recorded figure, of 61,153 incidents of self-harm in the 12 months ending June 2020. Apart from statistics on self-harm and self-inflicted deaths, there are limited statistics (or other) indicators on what the current levels of mental health need (clinical and non-clinical) in prison. This inquiry seeks to understand the scale of mental health need within prison and to identify what support exists and whether there are any gaps in provision.

Terms of Reference

The Committee is seeking views on:

  • The scale of mental health issues within prisons in England and Wales and whether enough is in place to determine the scale of the problem.
  • The appropriateness of prison for those with mental health needs.
  • How mental health issues are identified on arrival at prison and/or while a prisoner is serving a custodial sentence.
  • Support (clinical and non-clinical) available to those with mental health needs, whether it meets the needs of those in prison and if there are any gaps in provision.
  • The effect of physical prison environment on mental health.
  • The effect of Covid on prisoner mental health, including on access to services.
  • The quality and availability of mental health support in prison compared to that in the community.
  • The mental health care pathway in prison to the community.
  • Whether current commissioning of mental health services in prison is working.

Please send submissions of no more than 1,500 words through the online portal by 19 May 2021. We would welcome early submissions.

This call for written evidence has now closed.

Go back to Mental Health in Prison Inquiry