mental health problems before making ASBOs, says charity
November 14, 2007
people should be screened for mental health problems and learning
disabilities before being put on anti-social behaviour orders (ASBOs),
says a charity.
In recommendations made to a sentencing consultation on Asbos, the
Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health also called for people with mental
health problems to be given special consideration when sentenced
for breaching an ASBO.
argued ASBOs “often result in a fast-tracking of vulnerable
individuals into the criminal justice system, and even to prison”.
recent figures available show that, in 2005, 9,853 ASBOs were issued.
Between 1999 and 2005, just under 4,000 ASBOs were issued to 10
to 17 year olds
by the Home Office, the British Institute for Brain Injured Children
and probation union NAPO shows a disproportionate number of people
with mental health diagnoses are being put on ASBOs.
least half of all ASBOs are breached and 6% of ASBOs result in a
prison sentence for that breach alone.
The Sainsbury Centre also says there should be better mental health
awareness training for court staff.
Behaviour Orders and mental health: the evidence to date - paper
produced by the Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health as contribution
to Sentencing Guidelines Council consultation on breach of an Anti-Social
Behaviour Order (pdf)
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