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Mental Illness and Cognitive Disability

Jailing is also failing those with particular challenges such as people living with mental illness and cognitive disability. More than 50% of adults in prison have a history of mental illness and more than 80% of young people in custody have had a diagnosed psychological disorder. The estimates of people in prison with intellectual disability or borderline intellectual disability are as high as 20%. These populations have limited access to appropriate mental health or other critical support while they are in prison and most will be released back into the community in a relatively short period of time from remand or having served their sentence, but still lacking strong enough supports to prevent reoffending. We should be diverting more people away from detention and into community based support where possible and providing better therapeutic responses for those who cannot be diverted.