MHPF has recently joined the ‘Care not Custody’ Coalition, which represents over two million people across the health, social care and justice sectors and wider civic society. Together the Coalition members show the breadth of support that there is for the development of effective liaison and diversion arrangements across the country for people with mental health needs and learning disabilities caught up in the criminal justice system.
The organisations and professional bodies in membership have agreed to work together to support the government in keeping its ‘care not custody’ promise and to hold government to account for effective delivery. The Coalition is well placed to monitor the implementation of liaison and diversion arrangements, offering support for positive steps and raising concerns where they arise.
Care not Custody was inspired by the tragic death by suicide of a young man with schizophrenia in a Manchester prison. Since its establishment, the Coalition has raised awareness of the significant numbers of people in prison with mental health needs; the gaps in provision of mental healthcare in prison and the community; the particular impact on women and young people; and the need for improved cooperation between the health and criminal justice sectors.
Furthermore, MHPF is also pleased to announce that at a Care not Custody Coalition event in Parliament on Tuesday, Minister of State for Community and Social Care Alistair Burt MP announced government investment of £12million in extending liaison and diversion services across England. More information about this commitment and vital funding can be found here.