Mental Health in prisons

Mental health is increasingly being the subject of false allegations as we hear on the FASO helpline as well.

Mental Health Care in Prisons (courtesy johno newsletter) Margaret FASO

  • 26% of women and 16% of men said they had received treatment for a mental health problem in the year before custody.
  • 25% of women and 15% of men in prison reported symptoms indicative of psychosis.The rate among the general public is about 4%.
  • Self-inflicted deaths are 8.6 times more likely in prison than in the general population.
  • 70% of people who died from self-inflicted means whilst in prison had already been identified as having mental health needs.

However, the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman (PPO) found that concerns about mental health problems had only been flagged on entry to the prison for just over half of these people.

The PPO’s investigation found that nearly one in five of those diagnosed with a mental health problem received no care from a mental health professional in prison. The PPO also found that no mental health referral was made when it should have been in 29% of self-inflicted deaths where mental health needs had already been identified. 40% of prisons inspected in 2016–17 had inadequate or no training for prison officers to know when to refer a person for mental health support.

Anonymity – Scotland and N.I.

Anonymity something FASO has been recommending and fighting for with Welsh/English governments for a long time. 

Scottish and N.I. legislation consultation are not always seen and therefore not addressed. 

We want to rectify this with added focus:  FASO Covers the whole of the UK.

See last debate on anonymity also consultations  
https://www.scotlawcom.gov.uk/files/5515/0669/0813/02.__Margaret_Gardener.pdf

Media discussion

https://www.carson-mcdowell.com/news-and-events/insights/reporting-restrictions-anonymity-orders-in-northern-ireland

Scottish Legal News 06/08/2020 (courtesy of)

Ireland: Sexual offences review backs anonymity for all defendants and greater support for complainants   chair Tom O’Malley SC

in the wake of the high-profile Belfast rugby rape trial, was originally meant to be completed by the end of 2018. The final 141-page report has been published today, Irish Legal News reports, via Scottish legal news.

It was commissioned by the government following criticism over aspects of the nine-week Belfast Crown Court trial of Ireland and Ulster rugby players Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding, who were found not guilty of raping a woman.

Ireland’s Justice Minister, Helen McEntee announced this morning that she will prioritise the development of an implementation plan

Anonymity of defendants

Among the most significant recommendations of Mr O’Malley’s report is that the right to anonymity, which currently applies to almost all defendants accused of rape, should be extended to include defendants accused of all sexual assault offences.

Also robust hate crime legislation
Justice Minister reinforces ‘no place for hate’ messageThat was the message from Justice Minister Naomi Long when she opened an Online Hate Crime Event at Belfast City…

Anonymity

Anonymity something FASO has been recommending and fighting for with Welsh/English governments for a long time.  Scottish and N.I legislation consultation are not always seen and therefore not addressed.  We will try to rectify this.  FASO Cover the UK  Margaret 16.8.20

See last debate on anonymity also consultations  
https://www.scotlawcom.gov.uk/files/5515/0669/0813/02.__Margaret_Gardener.pdf

Media discussion

https://www.carson-mcdowell.com/news-and-events/insights/reporting-restrictions-anonymity-orders-in-northern-ireland

Scottish Legal News 06/08/2020 (courtesy of)

Ireland: Sexual offences review backs anonymity for all defendants and greater support for complainants   chair Tom O’Malley SC

in the wake of the high-profile Belfast rugby rape trial, was originally meant to be completed by the end of 2018. The final 141-page report has been published today, Irish Legal News reports, via Scottish legal news.

It was commissioned by the government following criticism over aspects of the nine-week Belfast Crown Court trial of Ireland and Ulster rugby players Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding, who were found not guilty of raping a woman.

Ireland’s Justice Minister, Helen McEntee announced this morning that she will prioritise the development of an implementation plan

Anonymity of defendants

Among the most significant recommendations of Mr O’Malley’s report is that the right to anonymity, which currently applies to almost all defendants accused of rape, should be extended to include defendants accused of all sexual assault offences.

Also robust hate crime legislation

Justice Minister reinforces ‘no place for hate’ message
Justice Minister reinforces ‘no place for hate’ messageThat was the message from Justice Minister Naomi Long when she opened an Online Hate Crime Event at Belfast City…

Rape inspection 2019 rape inspection A thematic review of rape cases by HM Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate December 2019

https://www.justiceinspectorates.gov.uk/hmcpsi/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2019/12/Rape-inspection-2019-1.pdf  A thematic review of rape cases by HM Crown ProsecutionServiceInspectorate.

The Scottish Legal News of  Aug 10th 2010 have highlighted a report from a newspaper that Downing Street is to set targets to pressurise CPS in progressing eventual strong rape cases 
But the CPS does not need to be put under pressure of targets, as they should already be prosecuting those with strong evidence.  This will lead to the continuing miscarriage of justice.
What the Police and CPS should also be doing is keeping statistics of those who do not meet the test for prosecution, and the reason why – to make it clear that no-one has ‘got away with it’
That those found with no evidence, should be found ‘NOT GUILTY and be afforded access as VICTIMS, to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority.
That social services should take note of the not guilty, and after initial checks, allow the family back together or access to their children where parental disputes have arisen.  
that the DBS is not notified to stop job opportunity or the continuation of their jobs.
Margaret

FASO http://www.false-allegations.support.org.uk

18 years of supporting the falsely accused of sex offences and child protection issues


Downing Street is planning to set prosecution targets in rape cases for police and lawyers, The Guardian reports.

The Prime Minister’s crime and justice taskforce is to set targets for police to refer evidentially strong rape cases to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

The move comes in the wake of a steep decline in the number of cases referred by police to the CPS and the number and proportion of rape cases prosecuted.

Rape prosecutions have dropped by 59 per cent since 2016-17, to 2,102 and 1,439 convictions in 2019-20. Reports of rape, however, rose by a third to 55,130. Referrals from the police to the CPS have fallen by 40 per cent since 2016-17.

UK government spokesperson said: “We are determined to restore faith in the justice system and give victims of rape the confidence that everything will be done to bring offenders to justice … We will continue to work with the police to look at ways to improve their role in the investigation and prosecution of rape, and ensure that their guidance and best practice is implemented in every police force area.”

Between 2016 and 2018 the CPS used its own targets and aimed to achieve a 60 per cent conviction rate. But the targets were dropped when prosecutors realised that they were inappropriate and may have acted as a “perverse incentive”.

Sarah Crew, the most senior police officer for rape in England and Wales, said: “Police remain committed to the cross-government review of how the criminal justice system handles rape. That review is still ongoing and is yet to report its findings … Outcomes for victims of rape are not good enough and all of the criminal justice system will use the review’s findings to improve.”

Scottish silk Thomas Ross QC told SLN that the suggestion was a “very bad idea” and warned against implementing anything similar north of the border.

He said: “The introduction of targets is a very bad idea. When the Crown Prosecution Service set its own target in 2016 it had an effect which was entirely predictable – prosecutors started to cherry-pick the good cases and became reluctant to prosecute the less straight-forward cases.

“Every case which is evidentially adequate and enjoys a reasonable prospect of success should be prosecuted; whether that approach results in a conviction rate of nine per cent or 90 per cent will be determined by members of the public serving as jurors.

“The Scottish Justice Secretary has never suggested targets, but he has opined that the rate of rape convictions is unsatisfactory. I believe that the conviction rate should mirror exactly the number of cases that are proved beyond reasonable doubt. That should be the only target, and I believe that we are meeting it.”

Pre-bail under investigation For FASO

Many on pre-bail (28 days does not exist) or Under investigation, which it often gets taken into, has no limitation.
More and more are mentally being affected by the accusation, followed by the length of time held on bail.  as well as not being able to work (sacked , put on garden leave) and many having the children taken from them (so children suffer the loss of a parent) – often to the ‘No further action’ because it was not a valid accusation in the first place. 
On completion of police investigation, no acknowledgement of innocence, still no job DBS, rarely returned children Social services legislation, no financial compensation or mental health support.
Our callers are now the Victim – no Criminal injuries compensation (even though the false accuser do not have their compensation taken back.) but more seriously, no mental health support and families back.
FASO hear from individuals with stories of the above – and support them whilst they go through this horrendous time.
MargaretFASO helpline


Hundreds respond to pre-charge bail review

By Monidipa Fouzder6 July 2020

Justice minister Alex Chalk said more than 1,000 responses have been submitted to a Home Office consultation on pre-charge bail laws, which closed in May following a coronavirus-related extension. Chalk was responding to a written parliamentary question from shadow legal aid minister Karl Turner about the consultation.

Pre-charge bail allows police to release a suspect from custody, usually subject to conditions, while officers continue their investigation or await a charging decision. Unlike bail, there are no time limits for release under investigation (RUI). Police figures
Police figures confirm 193,000 suspects…

 show that since a 28-day time limit for police bail was introduced in 2017, the number of suspects on bail has dropped dramatically. By contrast, the number of suspects released under investigation – including lengthy spells for some – has risen sharply.

The Home Office decided to review pre-charge bail amid concern that it is not always being used where appropriate to protect victims, investigations are taking longer to conclude and that this has had adverse impacts on the courts. 

Turner asked what assessment has been made of the effect of the 2017 reforms on criminal defence solicitors.

Chalk said that police must apply to a magistrate to extend pre-charge bail beyond three months. The Legal Aid Agency amended the 2017 standard crime contract to ensure legal aid was available for defendants in these new court proceedings. Legal aid contracts were also amended to allow providers to submit a payment claim within one month of being notified of an RUI. The claim can be reopened at a later date if the police investigation continues and further work is done.

Chalk said: ‘This amendment was in response to concern from defence practitioner bodies that any delays in investigations could delay the point at which they can apply for payment for work done on legal aid cases.’

Anonymity


https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/tory-ex-minister-arrested-over-rape-qdm897rv2

At last anonymity for a person accused of rape as FASO have been campaigning for, And a debate on anonymity – Anonymity for all – a debate with a barrister on anonymity  

Does the MOJ/Police have an explanation for that?


Debate: Anonymous justice – Should suspects be given anonymity?
Does the MOJ/Police have an explanation for that?

Sad not all are entitled to this anonymity.  
Margaret Gardener
FASO UK CEO

REBUTTAL OF RAPE ALLEGATIONS

https://www.cps.gov.uk/publication/cps-data-summary-quarter-2-2019-2020

How amazing that after the Henrique report into the Met’s handling of the allegations against Cliff Richard and Paul Gambaccini, which was followed by the senior police officer’s investigation into the validity of the Henriques report.  A change in the re-training of police officers was made.

All in the name of equality and fairness

Now that not many accused are being sent to court and found guilty, or cases dropped – there is an outcry that the accused are ‘getting away with it’

How many of these numbers are actually those falsely accused?  Strangely there are no figures to identify that fact, nor whispers that may be the case.

False allegations are buried by both media, government, police/CPS, the victim’s commissioner, and the women’s lobby – whilst there Is no counter lobby for those being falsely accused (which includes women, children and others) because if they try to raise their heads above the parapet, they are again vilified as society views them as ‘no smoke without fire’

Also, Women’s group argue that that having the complainant’s phones/computers examined in a police investigation is an abuse of privacy against their human rights.  However, if the accused person is to be entitled to any defence at all then this is often necessary.  People accused of offences will invariably have their phones/computer examined and their privacy compromised.  The Liam Allan case demonstrates how important it is for the police to check the veracity of the complaint in this way in order to avoid miscarriages of justice.

Police should be doing a thorough investigation into who is telling the truth – and looking at digital input will help to show this.

Those accused have never had the right in stopping the police taking all their digital phones and computers etc – and the police have been doing so for the past 20 years, ever since I have been supporting in this field.

What is equality here. There is supposed to be one law for all

Unfortunately, the law is weighted on the side of those who shout the loudest and get the most media cover, in order to brow beat the police/CPS, government who tend to give way to those creating such an outcry.

It is about time those falsely accused and their supporters got together, and started shouting with their evidence of the wrong being done against them, despite the pressures of being falsely accused a second time, as they have the temerity (will be said) to tell the truth and shout out against the false accuser.

The falsely accused is the modern form of the witch hunt which ceased in the 1750’s – you are dammed if you stand up for your truth, and forever after targeted, when found not guilty or there is no evidence against you.

Justice needs to be that JUSTICE – not for those that can shout the loudest.

In order to achieve justice, we need to find a balance for a failing system and work together to recognise those failings and redress the diversity of these issues, by discussion and debate. 

Both those genuine victims and the falsely accused need to be brought together in discussion and debate so all innocent individuals are supported fully.

Margaret Gardener

FASO UK CEO

20 Years supporting the falsely accused

See my talk to the men’s psychology group below – on what actually happens on the front line, to those going through false allegations. FASO You tube talk on one side of FASO support Psychological impact of false accusations of sexual abuse
Psychological impact of false accusatio…

http://www.false-allegations.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/Sec-64-Rebuttal-of-rape.docx

Another special arrangement for women – who claim rape.

Anyone accused of sex offences automatically have their social media and phones taken. – without a request to release them. The same police law should apply to all who are accused and accuser of sex offences. Again two different rules.

Margaret FASO CEO

Police Chiefs to Replace Disclosure Consent Forms

Controversial consent forms giving police access to phones and other devices in criminal cases are to be replaced, after they were criticised by the Information Commissioner’s Office. In 2019 the National Police Chiefs Council and Crown Prosecution Service announced they were introducing standardised consent forms for allowing access to phones and other devices. However, the Centre for Women’s Justice said the forms were unlawful, discriminatory and led to excessive and intrusive disclosure requests. The centre brought a legal challenge on behalf of two women, which was put on hold pending the ICO’s investigation report on mobile phone data extraction by police forces.The ICO’s report, published last month, said the NPCC-circulated digital consent forms did not make clear what the underpinning lawful basis for an extraction was and that the forms should not be used as currently drafted. Today, the NPCC confirmed that the forms will be replaced with an interim version from 13 August. The College of Policing will produce guidance on investigative practice when mobile phone investigation is needed. Assistant chief constable Tim De Meyer, NPCC lead for disclosure, said: ‘Police and prosecutors have a duty to pursue all reasonable lines of enquiry in every investigation, and to disclose any material that undermines the case for the prosecution or assists the case for the accused. This is a fundamental principle of our criminal justice system, which ensures that trials are fair.
Read more: Law Gazette, Police chiefs to replace disclosure consent forms
Police chiefs to replace disclosure consent formsForms were criticised by the Information Commissioner’s Office and were being legally challenged.