HC Deb 20 May 1991 vol 191 cc347-8W
Mr. Vaz

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prisoners in England and Wales have been diagnosed as having a mental illness.

Mrs. Rumbold

On 31 March 1990, the latest date for which figures are available, 290 inmates were reported by prison medical officers to be mentally disordered as defined by the Mental Health Act 1983. Of these, 237 were reported to be mentally ill.

The Government encourage the diversion of mentally disordered offenders from the penal system whenever custody is not necessary in the public interest.

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