Prisons: the ultimate social service

Amelia Gentleman's article ('Joe doesn't need to be punished, he needs help', G2, 2 June) tells the tragic story of Linda Morgan's fight to get her son Joe Paraskeva released from prison. Sadly, theirs is only one of thousands of families whose lives are turned upside down when a young person becomes unwell and ends up in prison. Prisons have become the ultimate social service – the dumping ground for all society's problem people.

Some 90% of imprisoned young offenders have a mental health disorder. If punishment helped them to get well no one would be complaining, but it doesn't. It compounds their problems and distress, leading in some cases to extreme self-harm and suicide.

CLICK HERE to read more over at Jailhouse Lawyers Blog