Mental Health

Seamus George 3

If a Court decides, at the time of sentencing, that an offender is suffering from mental disorder they can order their admission and detention to a hospital for psychiatric treatment. The Crown Court may also impose a Restriction Order for the protection of the public from serious harm.  Restriction Orders are for an unlimited period. These patients are commonly termed ‘restricted patients’.

 Restricted patients are mentally disordered offenders who are detained in hospital for treatment or who are conditionally discharged into the community and who are subject to special controls by the Justice Secretary due to the level of risk they pose. These controls include permission for community leave, transfer to another hospital, discharge and recall to hospital. The Mental Health Casework Section takes these decisions on behalf of the Justice Secretary.

Detained patients are usually treated in secure hospitals, and will be given gradual access to the community as part of their rehabilitation only when it is safe to do so

Under the Mental Health Act, the Justice Secretary can discharge a restricted patient from hospital and all restricted patients will also have access to the independent First-tier Tribunal (Mental Health) which has a statutory duty to discharge patients who no longer meet the criteria for detention under the Act.

Should a restricted patient be discharged, this will usually be subject to specific conditions, which are generally centred around accommodation, supervision and abstinence from drugs and alcohol. Conditions however may also include those designed to protect victims such as ‘no contact’ or exclusion zones. For those victims in the Victim Contact Scheme the Victim Liaison Officer will be consulted.

Should a conditionally discharged restricted patient show symptoms of a change in mental state or relapse such that the risks they pose to themselves or others is increased, the Justice Secretary may recall them to a secure hospital. If a restricted patient is granted an absolute discharge the Justice Secretary will no longer have any involvement.

Link to the Mental Health Casework Section’s guidance:-

Click here for MAPPA Guidance Chapter 26 - Mentally Disordered Offenders and MAPPA