Shadow Justice Secretary announces dedicated Minister for criminal justice and mental health

Platform speech by Sadiq Khan MP, Labour’s Shadow Justice Secretary

4 July 2012

Last night, Rt. Hon Sadiq Khan MP delivered a speech on mental health in the criminal justice system at our event in the Coin Street Neighbourhood Centre.

Sadiq Khan MP with Sean DugganSean Duggan, our Chief Executive, and Sadiq Khan MP, Shadow Justice Secretary

In it he said: “The sheer scale of those with mental health problems in our criminal justice system is truly shocking. For too long our prisons have been warehouses for those whose specialist health needs are best served elsewhere. Prisons and those who work in them are simply not equipped to cope."

"The aim now is to divert them away into proper specialist treatment without shying away from the importance of punishing those for the crimes they’ve committed. Communities up and down the country will ultimately benefit - rooting out and addressing those with mental health problems will help tackle a drift back into a life of crime, and prevent the creation of future victims of crime.

“Tackling the mental health crisis in our justice system will be a top priority for a future Labour Government. I can confirm that there will be a dedicated Minister in any future Ministry of Justice of which I am Secretary of State specifically tasked with the job of guardian of mental health issues across our courts, prisons and probation service. There also needs to be much more joined up government. Only by taking responsibility at a high level will the continued culture change we need to see be effectively implemented.”

The speech in full

You can read the whole of Sadiq Khan's speech here:

Download speech (208 KB)

Video of the event will be available soon.