HC Deb 02 February 1971 vol 810 cc342-3W
Mr. Simeons

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) whether he intends to take steps to discover those at present serving prison sentences who are abnormal mentally, and to have the fact duly noted so that they will not be convicted again for actions for which they cannot be held to be responsible;

(2) whether he will find out those held in prison who are abnormal mentally, and to notify the Secretary of State for Social Services, so that he may take the appropriate steps to ensure that the public are protected when they become due for release.

Mr. Carlisle

All prisoners are medically examined on reception in prison, before discharge, and at such other times as may be necessary. A prisoner who needs psychiatric treatment obtains it in prison or, if his mental condition warrants it, by transfer to a psychiatric hospital. The discharge of a prisoner suffering from mental disorder is notified, where appropriate, to the local authority, so that action may be taken to continue treatment, if necessary by compulsory admission to hospital.

Whether a person should be regarded as not responsible for an offence because of his mental condition at the time is a matter for decision by the court trying the case.