Mental health in prisons

by Colin Dexter

Photo of Chris EvansChris Evans (Islwyn, Labour)  Argoed in my constituency was rocked over the weekend by a particularly gruesome and horrific murder, and I am sure the whole House will join me in extending sympathies to the family of Cerys Yemm, the young girl who lost her life. The Ministry of Justice has launched an immediate investigation into why her killer committed such a serious offence within 30 days of being released. However, reports yesterday said that he could not get a prescription for his paranoid schizophrenia, he was not met at the prison gate and he was referred to a local bed and breakfast, where this horrific murder took place. Does the Secretary of State agree with the need for an urgent investigation into how mental health is treated in prisons and the monitoring of prisoners after they are released?

Photo of Chris GraylingChris Grayling (The Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice ; Epsom and Ewell, Conservative)   Let us be clear that we all think that what took place was a horrendous incident. I offer my sincere condolences to the family of the victim. I also offer my sympathy to the hon. Gentleman as the localMember of Parliament dealing with this difficult situation. Of course, a serious further offence review is looking at what took place and it would be wrong of me to prejudge its outcome, but it is already clear to me that lessons will need to be learned and that we may need to make modifications to the way the system works in order to try to make sure that nothing as horrendous as this can ever happen again.

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