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News Archives: Index

October 7, 2010: Probation Set For Industrial Action

October 5, 2010: Turning Prisoners Into Taxpayers

October 4, 2010: Murder Changes Now In Force

September 20, 2010: Probation Programmes Face Cuts

August 24, 2010: Victorian Poor Law Records Online

August 10, 2010: Justice Job Cuts

July 28, 2010: Prison Violence Growing

July 22, 2010: Police Numbers: Latest Figures

July 22, 2010: New Jurisdiction Rules

July 16, 2010: CCJS On Prison And Probation Spending Under Labour

July 15, 2010: Latest Statistics On Violent And Sexual Crime

July 15, 2010: Latest National Crime Figures

July 15, 2010: New Chief Prisons Inspector

July 14, 2010: Hard Times Ahead For Prisons: Anne Owers

July 14, 2010: Prison Does Not Work: Ken Clarke

July 13, 2010: Criminal Justice Reform: Sentencing and Rehabilitation

July 13, 2010: Criminal Justice Reform Priorities

July 12, 2010: What Price Public Protection, Asks Probation Chief Inspector

July 12, 2010: NOMS has failed, says Napo

July 10, 2010: IPCC To Investigate Death of Raoul Moat

July 9, 2010: Women In Prison: New Report

July 9, 2009: Unjust Deserts: Imprisonment for Public Protection

July 8, 2010: Police Search Powers Change

July 7, 2010: Make 'Legal High' Illegal, Says ACMD

July 2, 2010: Failing Children In Prison

July 2, 2010: Police Buried Under a Blizzard of Guidance: HMIC

July 1, 2010: Freedom To Change The Law?

June 30, 2010: A New Outlook On Penal Reform?

June 30, 2010: Revolving Door Of Offending Must Stop, Says Clarke

June 30, 2010: Ken Clarke: Speech on Criminal Justice Reform

June 29, 2010: No More Police Targets

June 26, 2010: Family Intervention Projects Questioned

June 25, 2010: Cutting Criminal Justice

June 24, 2010: Napo on Sex Offenders Report

June 23, 2010: Closing Courts: The Cuts Begin

June 23, 2010: Strategy To Tackle Gangs

June 15, 2010: Courts and Mentally Disordered Offenders

June 8, 2010: Working With Muslims in Prison

June 1, 2010: Your Chance To Nominate a QC

June 15, 2010: Courts & Mentally Disordered Offenders

Pilot schemes are testing new ways for courts to address offending behaviour in people with mental health issues. The Mental Health Court pilot model has been designed to tackle underlying issues in order to reduce re-offending among mentally disordered defendants.

The starting point is the effective identification of those with mental health needs. A whole range of staff from across the trial process can play a part in initiating referrals where they have concerns - for example police, court ushers, solicitors, and Crown Prosecution Service staff.

A dedicated Mental Health Court practitioner conducts a face-to-face assessment, which can provide the court with relevant information about the defendant’s health and enable timely access to other services.

It also equips the court’s dedicated Mental Health Team, which includes the practitioner and Probation Service staff, to make sentencing recommendations which make the most effective use of existing options. Regular post-sentence reviews track the progress of any sentence with a mental health element, to support compliance.

The pilots are showing how effectively the different bodies involved can work together with the right procedures, which all fit within existing court structures and processes.

The pilot schemes at magistrates’ courts in Stratford  (East London) and Brighton are in the process of being evaluated, and the lessons learned will be incorporated into new approaches to offenders with these needs across the whole Criminal Justice system.