On 14th February 2023, Crime in Mind held a pandemic-delayed launch in the House of Lords, hosted by Lord Keith Bradley.
Lord Bradley, celebrated for his influential landmark review in 2009 about people with mental health problems or learning disabilities in the criminal justice system, spoke about the importance of research in the field if further progress is to be made.
Lord Bradley is currently a member of the joint committee on the draft mental health bill and of the adult social care committee. He spoke about the need for early intervention and triage before a person finds themselves within the criminal justice system, how to make sure the right information is shared and the importance of developing ever better ways forward.
Crime In Mind Chairman Professor John Gunn explained the hopes for Crime in Mind – to become a grant-giving organisation providing support for forensic mental health. There are numerous problems presenting to the criminal justice system that have a mental health dimension and knowledge about these is urgently required. Teaching and informing are important objectives too and here we have begun with a successful series of seminars and webinars. More funds for all this work are essential and we need a fund raiser.
Rikki Garg spoke about the importance of sharing information at every stage of the process so that the initial assessments are carried through. Too often, in criminal appeal and parole cases early assessments and recommendations are hard to trace, causing delay in the process. When there is a dispute that is based on the competing views of the experts, access to original opinions is crucial. Ensuring we have all relevant information will only improve outcomes for those affected and for society as a whole.
Professor Andrew Forrester spoke about outcomes from a Crime in Mind supported expert consensus group on mental health research priorities for future funding and support.
Dr Alexis Theodorou presented findings from his Crime in Mind supported systemic literature review on multiple homicides followed by suicide.
New projects were confirmed as enquiry into covid-19 pandemic related impact on filicide (Rachel Proctor & Paula Murphy) and The impact of violence victimisation: An umbrella review of meta-analyses (Sophia Backhaus & Matthias Burghart).
New opportunities for funding and support will be announced later this year.
Wide ranging discussion followed covering, among many topics, questions about impact of internet violence, improving responses to substance users and engaging with overseas researchers.
For those who could not make it to this event, as well as those who could, the booklet of the event provides more information about our work and the presentations about the research supported so far. Do please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if with your email address if you would like a copy sent direct. A copy is also available to download here.
Research can transform lives. We want to support discoveries about what helps people with mental disorder who have been victims of criminal behaviour, or perpetrators of criminal behaviour, and their families, and the clinicians and others who treat them and, indeed, the wider community when its members are in contact with these problems. More effective prevention is the ideal, when this is not possible, we need more effective, evidenced interventions for recovery and restoration of safety.
Please help us by donating to Crime In Mind – DONATE TO CRIME IN MIND HERE