Exclusive: Agencies fail to co-operate to help ex-offenders with mental health problems

Multi-agency working is not successful in tackling the needs of
ex-offenders with a mental health problem, an unpublished Revolving
Doors Agency report reveals, writes Clare

Research of 650 people, with a mental health problem, when they
were taken to police stations found that 80 per cent had at least
one additional problem, and 54 per cent required support from three
or more agencies

“The capacity to respond to clients with complex needs who get
caught up in the criminal justice system is poor,” the report to be
published shortly says. It identifies three key barriers to a
successful multi-agency approach: time and resources, inter-agency
links and no one agency taking responsibility for ensuring all the
agencies work together.

Author Nick O’Shea says staff are often reacting to crises
and firefighting rather than being able to plan a service for

Services are not rewarded by how well they work with other
agencies, and so there is little incentive to build links. Each
service has its own targets and performance indicators based around
the delivery of that one service.

The report identifies that whilst prison could offer a period of
temporary stability for this group if it offered a variety of
services based on long-term need, the opportunity is often missed.
Not enough information follows prisoners into prisons, and the
majority of care provided in prisons does not continue after

Report from 020 7242 9222

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