I am delighted to welcome the Justice Mental Health and Fair Trial Report into mental health and the criminal justice system as a valuable contribution to a continuing debate over the appropriate ways to cater for mental health illness and neurological illness at all stages of investigation, prosecution and disposal of offences.
In 2001, Mind – the mental health charity – highlighted the difficulties which individuals with mental health conditions had in securing effective access to justice. Its views were recently summarised in a searching paper written by Professor Lee-Ann Fenge and others on the relationship between mental health and the criminal justice system. They said this,
‘People with mental health conditions and learning disabilities tend to experience greater difficulties in accessing justice than other groups, and are one of the most socially excluded groups within society as they experience greater discrimination, disadvantage and stigma.