The criminal justice system can be an intimidating and frightening place. Mind recognise that some people who become involved in the criminal justice system need extra support to look at how they can make changes to improve their lives and life chances and move away from offending behaviour, especially if they have a mental health issue or other vulnerabilities.
Levels of mental health problems experienced by people involved in the criminal justice system are well documented:
- over 90% of prisoners have at least one mental health problem (four times the rate in the community);
- prisoners are 10 times more likely to commit suicide than people in the wider general population (Mind, 2012); and
- studies from police custody show that more than 75% of people detained have diagnosable levels of mental health problems (Centre for Mental Health, 2009).
Supported with funding from the Big Lottery, Middlesbrough and Stockton Mind launched the Diversion and Resettlement Service (DRS) in July 2014. The DRS provides a rapid response to those with immediate needs as well as planned, structured support for people who access the service, with the aim of promoting health and well-being, reducing re-offending and improving the person’s quality of life.
As part of the DRS programme NEMHDU was commissioned to gather together personal narratives of some of the mental health service users who have received support from the DRS at different points across the criminal justice system. These narratives are captured in the Stories of Success booklet, which is available from Mind. – contact
Hilary Homan, Diversion and Resettlement Service – Team Lead, Middlesbrough and Stockton Mind, The Mind Centre, 90-92 Lothian Road, Middlesbrough, TS4 2QX
Tel: 01642 257032 or 07505 596896 or