This site now acts as an archive only. For the latest news, opinion, blogs and listings on disability arts and culture visit

Disability Arts Online

Crippen's cartoon comments on mental health and the prison service / 17 July 2009

Highlighting the mental health issues effecting prisoners

Crippen's Prison cartoon 'Locked away'

Zoom in to this image and read text description

A recent statement from the Home Office says that the Prison Service is now the second largest provider of mental health care provision in the UK (the first being the NHS).

Keywords: mental health,



24 July 2009

About 10 years ago I carried out an access audit of Shrewsbury prison. My starting point was 'shall we just take it as read that prison is totally unsuitable for any mental health system survivors and therefore not accessibele?' They agreed.

Judie McConway

17 July 2009

This is absolutely shocking - I worked in Mental Health for 20 years as manager of a day centre run by social services. There were 3 centres and various sheltered housing schemes when I left, there are none run by social services now, only those by the Health Authority, using the medical model of 'keep on taking the pills'! When I was studying for my social work qualification, I visited a young offenders prison, where one guy had earlier that week set fire to himself using lighter fuel. I asked the warder who was showing us around what provision they had there for mental health care. He looked my straight in the eye as if I were an idiot and said, "none of the people here is mentally ill, they have all been assessed as OK to serve their sentences, if they were ill they wouldn't be here"!! The prison service cannot look after people with mental health problems!!