Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Government justice plans in spotlight

Earlier in the House of Commons there were gasps of horror when an MP raised the case of a paedophile let out on day release by a secure mental health unit, who went on to try and rape a ten year old boy.

You can read the full story here. It concerned one Shaun Tudor who was being held at St Andrew’s Healthcare in Notts.

The unit is the UK’s largest not-for-profit mental healthcare charity providing secure services and care for 70 men with learning disabilities and autistic spectrum disorders.

The MP asking about it was Sherwood’s Mark Spencer who used the case to question the Government’s plans to encourage more charities and private sector companies to start projects to rehabilitate criminals and then pay them according to the number who cease offending.

Crispin Blunt responded: “That case referred to a patient who was detained under the Mental Heath Act – when unescorted leave required both the approval of the secretary of state with a risk assessment and with a recommendation from a responsible clinician.

“There are no proposals for companies to be making these kinds of decisions.”

None the less the case does raise questions about giving the private sector and charities any sort of supervisory role over criminals – particularly given the background of companies like G4S.

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