During May 2021, the Justice Committee launched an inquiry into Mental Health in Prisons. It seeks to understand the current scale of mental health need in prisons, and to identify what support exists and whether there are any gaps in provision.

POhWER submitted written evidence based on our experiences of supporting people in Prisons & Secure Settings in the role of advocates.

POhWER’s Written Evidence Submission to Parliament

Between April 2020 to March 2021 POhWER supported 12,917 people with 35,150 issues specifically in a prison or other secure setting. 71% of those beneficiaries lived with a mental health condition.

Our experiences of Mental Health are through the advocacy we provide in these settings and the stories of our beneficiaries who experienced challenges.

POhWER submitted written evidence to Parliament’s Justice Committee on the following areas:

  • Statistics highlighting common issues and the support needs of people we supported in Prison & Secure settings last year.
  • Case studies supporting our experiences as advocates on:
    • The scale of mental health issues within prisons and whether enough is in place to determine the scale of the problem.
    • The appropriateness of prison for those with mental health needs.
    • How mental health issues are identified on arrival at prison and/or while a prisoner is serving a custodial sentence.
    • The effect of physical prison environment on mental health.

POhWER’s full written evidence submission on Mental Health in Prisons to Parliament’s Justice Committee can be read here.