Thursday, March 26, 2009

A Missed Opportunity

Courts in the U.K. can include a Mental Health Treatment Requirement (MHTR) in people's sentences when they give people a community punishment. However, according to a new report by the Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health - A Missed Opportunity - few people have been given them, despite the fact that two-fifths of people on community sentences have mental-health problems. The report found that the purpose of MHTRs and to whom they could be given were not clear to magistrates, probation officers or court officials. There were long delays in the production of court psychiatric reports and widespread confusion about the implementation of MHTRs. The report called on the Government to issue clear guidance on the use of the MHTR, and on the courts to take an active role in identifying people who could benefit from them. It also called for local health services to make services available to support people given the requirement.

You can download the full text of the report at

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