Healthcare in prison
Prisoners should have the same access to healthcare services as everyone else. This section looks at what health services you can get if you are in prison and what to do if you are not getting the help you need.
- You might go into prison because you have committed a crime and been sentenced for a crime, or because you are waiting for a court hearing ('on remand')
- If you have a mental illness or think you might have a mental illness, there are services that can help you while you are in prison.
- You have the same right to healthcare services as everyone else. Some prisons have a healthcare wing, like a hospital. You might go there if your health is very bad.
- If you are too unwell to stay in prison, you could be transferred to hospital for specialist care under the Mental Health Act 1983.
- Most prisons have 'Listeners'. You could talk to them if you need support.
- There are services that can help you if you have problems with drugs or alcohol.
- It is important that you get support when you are released from prison. The prison should help with this.
This sections covers:
- How common is mental illness in prisons?
- What happens when I go into prison for the first time?
- What help can I get?
- Does the Care Programme Approach (CPA) apply in prison?
- What other support is there for mental illness?
- Can I get support if I use drugs?
- What can I do if I'm not getting the help that I need?
- What happens when I am released from prison?
These pages are created by Rethink Mental Illness' Advice and Information Service in accordance with the Information Standard. Last reviewed in October 2015. Next review October 2018.
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