In Ten Years Time

This report examines the key progress made in the criminal justice system in the past decade for people with mental health problems and learning disabilities. 10 years after Lord Bradley’s landmark 2009 report, it looks at what is needed now to ensure we make another decade of difference.

Lord Bradley’s report set out a vision for better support throughout the criminal justice system for people with mental health problems and learning disabilities. Since then, there has been concerted effort towards achieving that vision and people with vulnerabilities are more able to receive the support they need. This has included progress towards universal coverage of Liaison and Diversion services working to a nationally mandated operating model for people of all ages.

However, prisons have seen rising rates of self-harm and violence, including suicide. Large and sustained spending cuts in public health, youth, criminal justice and voluntary sector services have had an impact on this gropu, too.

Despite significant progress, the needs of too many people in the criminal justice system with mental ill-health or learning disabilities are not properly identified. Too many end up in prison when they could have been safely diverted and cared for in the community. Too many others continue through the justice process without the care and support they need both in prison and after release.

This report contains sections on early identification, arrest and prosecution, courts, sentencing and prisons and resettlement, and ends with 10 recommendations. A decade on from the Bradley Report, we are as ambitious as ever for change.