Offender mental health

Offender mental health

Date published: 
14 September 2017

Key facts

  • Estimates suggest there are over 10 million people in the UK - that’s one in 7 of the adult population - with a criminal record.[1]
  • 33 per cent of male and 51 per cent of female prisoners suffer from depression, in the general population that figure is 9 per cent and 13 per cent respectively.
  • The number of male prisoners with a diagnosed personality disorder is 64 per cent.


Our report and findings

The London Assembly Health Committee publishes its findings on providing better mental health support for prisoners and ex-offenders.

  • Offenders and ex-offenders are particularly vulnerable to mental ill health before, during and after contact with the criminal justice system.
  • More people are coming into contact with the police and criminal justice system due to poor mental health and the strain on mental health services.
  • Prison environments are disastrous for mental health, although leaving prison can be as traumatic as entering.


The Mayor should:

  • ensure that the Thrive LDN programme works proactively with London’s prison and probation services
  • specifically target the people being released from prison as a high risk group for suicide and self-harm, as part of the suicide prevention strand of the Thrive LDN programme
  • work with partners on a London-wide drive to improve GP registration for people leaving prison, to improve early access to mental health support
  • explicitly highlight the housing needs of this group as part of his Housing Strategy and homelessness programmes

The Mayor of London and the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC) should:

  • prioritise the piloting, evaluation and roll out of mental health triage teams across London
  • set out how the new Female Offender Service will be designed to improve mental health support and how success will be monitored

Follow us @LondonAssembly to hear more. Please share the report with #AssemblyHealth and #OffenderMentalHealth

Share this page