The Earl of Sandwich – 2016 Parliamentary Question to the Department of Health

The below Parliamentary question was asked by The Earl of Sandwich on 2016-05-18.

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what proportion of (1) prisoners, and (2) young offenders, suffer from mental health problems; and of those, how many suffer from (a) illegal drug addiction, and (b) prescribed drug dependence.

Lord Prior of Brampton

72% of adult male prisoners and 71% of adult female prisoners may have two or more mental disorders including personality disorder, psychosis, anxiety, depression or substance misuse according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

According to the cross-government report Healthy Children, Safer Communities (2009), more than one third of people held in the children and young people’s secure estate, including those held in young offender institutions, have diagnosed mental health disorders. A copy of this report is attached.

The ONS also reports that about 55% of individuals entering prison have a drug problem. Data on prescribed drug dependence in prisons is not collected centrally.