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Mental Illness

Jailing is also failing those with particular challenges such as people living with mental illness and cognitive disability. The percentage of offenders with a history of mental illness is over 50%. Almost 90% of young people in custody have a past or present psychological disorder. The estimates of prisoners with intellectual disability or borderline intellectual disability are as high as 20%. All these people 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 care where possible and providing better therapeutic responses for those who cannot be diverted.