Review highlights ‘excellent’ Bracton Centre

An independent review of mental health care in the criminal justice system (CJS) has praised the Bracton Centre. The report describes the Bracton Centre as an excellent bridge between mental health services and criminal justice services.

It goes on to say that the Bracton Centre could provide a template for best practice to help reduce reoffending rates and improve care across the country. 

Lord Bradley's Report of the Independent Review of People with Mental Health Problems and Learning Difficulties in the Criminal Justice System found that too many people pass through the system without their mental health needs or learning disabilities being recognised but that the centre at Bracton is an excellent example of specialist care provision. In the report the Bracton Centre was cited as an example of best practice for providing a forensic mental health service to probation hostels over the past 15 years. The report says: “Funded by the Inner London Probation Service, with the aim of forming a partnership with the mental health service, it offers specialist hostel provision. The partnership has aimed to bridge the gap between mental health and criminal justice services for a group of individuals who were at high risk of social exclusion due to their challenging behaviour and psychological needs.”

Nationally, Lord Bradley's Report makes over 80 recommendations to Government which would ensure public protection, appropriate justice and that people with mental health problems or learning difficulties are identified and treated as they pass through the CJS and re-enter society. 

Commenting on the Bracton Centre Lord Bradley said: "As part of my comprehensive review I examined a number of different schemes up and down the country and was particularly impressed by the way the Bracton Centre, which serves the areas of Bromley, Bexley, Greenwich and Lewisham is an excellent example of the Probation Service forming a strong partnership with the mental health service in the area."

The Bracton Centre provides a range of specialist forensic mental health services for people aged 18 - 65. It offers assessment, treatment and rehabilitation and has clinics providing a 24-hour service.

Published on 1st May 2009