IPRT - Irish Penal Reform Trust

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IPRT Briefing: Mental Health in Prisons (preliminary)

17th November 2009

Prisons should not be used to hold individuals with mental health difficulties. The prison environment places such persons at risk of developing further, or deeper, problems connected to placement in
inappropriate conditions. It does not provide them with appropriate therapeutic interventions; it places them at greater risk of self-harm and suicide. It also places other prisoners, as well as prison staff, at risk of behaviours that may be caused by mental illness such as heightened levels of violence.

Prisons are not equipped to deal with mental ill-health and its consequences, and the placement of mentally-ill individuals in Irish prisons should cease.

Please note this is a preliminary briefing document.

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