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Mental health expert to work with prisons inspectorate on review 22/01/2019 A leading consultant child and adolescent psychiatrist is to oversee the independent expert review of mental health and wellbeing support for young people in custody.

Mental health expert to work with prisons inspectorate on review

A leading Consultant child and adolescent psychiatrist is to oversee the independent expert review of mental health and wellbeing support for young people in custody.

Consultant Forensic Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist Dr Helen Smith will work closely with the HM Inspectorate of Prisons for Scotland and others to review support for young people in HM Prison & Young Offenders Institution Polmont.

The review is one of the actions across government which aims to improve support for vulnerable children and young people.

Dr Smith, who is also clinical lead for West of Scotland Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service and Honorary Senior Clinical Lecturer at the University of Glasgow, brings extensive experience of work to improve the mental health of young people in secure care.

Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf has also announced the scope and terms of reference of the review, in a letter to the Scottish Parliament’s Health and Justice Committees.

The review will consider arrangements including:

  • The background information available to the Scottish Prison Service ahead of admission
  • Reception arrangements on entry
  • Ongoing support and supervision while in custody.

“This review will focus specifically on young people in custody and will draw directly on the views and lived experiences of staff, young people and their families at Polmont,” said Mr Yousaf. “It will require a wide ranging approach with a specific understanding of the particular difficulties faced by young people, so I am pleased that Dr Smith, with her considerable experience and knowledge, has been appointed to provide expert counsel.”

Further details can be found here.

 

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