State must keep Care Not Custody promise
We welcome the commitment of the health secretary, Andrew Lansley, and the justice secretary, Ken Clarke, to divert people with mental health needs away from the justice system where possible and to improve treatment and support in the community (£5m scheme to divert mentally ill offenders from prison, 28 March). Many men, women and children in prison have two or more mental health problems, such as depression and anxiety, many others struggle with a learning disability, and significant numbers have severe and ongoing illnesses such as schizophrenia and personality disorders. Prison healthcare is too often a catch-all for people who would be better cared for outside the criminal justice system.
Read the full letter in the Guardian.