HL Deb 01 February 1999 vol 596 cc183-4WA
Lord Hylton

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What percentage of mentally disordered offenders are included in the current prison population of some 64,000. [HL642]

Lord Williams of Mostyn

Mentally disordered offenders are found in a variety of settings. Some are in secure psychiatric hospitals, some are in Prison Service establishments and others, who have committed relatively minor offences and pose less risk to the public, remain in the community. Information about what proportion of the total number are in prison is not available. However, a survey of psychiatric morbidity among prisoners in England and Wales, undertaken in 1997 by the Office for National Statistics for the Department of Health, showed that around 90 per cent. of prisoners sampled displayed evidence of at least one of the five disorders (personality disorder, psychosis, neurosis, alcohol misuse and drug dependence) considered in the survey.