The government is to push through a new version of the Mental Health Act which will provide a 'third way' between m...
The government is to push through a new version of the Mental Health Act which will provide a 'third way' between mental hospitals and prisons, reported The Sunday Times (p6).
People with records of anti-social behaviour, such as Michael Stone - convicted last week of the hammer murders of Lin Russell and daughter Megan and the attempted murder of her other daughter, Josie - will be made to sign contracts agreeing to accept close monitoring of their habits. A white paper will be published next spring giving social workers and probation officers new powers of supervision of people regarded as 'walking time-bombs'.
Under the existing Mental Health Act people who suffer from permanent anti-social personality disorders are not certifiable as mentally ill. As a result, they cannot be detained against their will. Hospitals and psychiatric units can accept such patients on a voluntary basis - however, there is little incentive to do so. With a shortage of secure beds, overstretched services and lack of consultants,such people are the least wanted on any ward.