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People with mental health problems dumped in and out of prison, says report

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Thousands of people with mental health problems are being dumped in and out of prison, according to a report.

According to the report, people who should be diverted into mental health or social care from police stations or courts are entering prisons.

Too Little, Too Late: An Independent Review of Unmet Mental Health Need In Prison, published by the Prison Reform Trust, says they are then discharged back into the community without support for their mental health problems.

It draws on information and evidence provided by the Independent Monitoring Boards of 57 prisons, appointed by the justice secretary to monitor treatment and conditions for prisoners across England and Wales.

The chair of one prison board described the situation of one elderly man in prison: ‘An 80-year-old confused man [in this prison] is unable to look after himself. We do not yet know whether he was known to social services but it seems likely. He has a five-year sentence for indecent exposure which is not surprising since he continually takes his clothes off.’

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