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The Crinimalisation Of Mental Health Patients

Tuesday, October 14th, 2008 The Crinimalisation Of Mental Health Patients

“The scandal of ‘criminalising’ mental health patients”. Is an article by Mary O’Hara of The Guardian (12 05 08). She reports that the human rights group Black Mental Health (BMH) who are putting pressure on the government to rethink on the national DNA database. The supposition is that the policy in effect is criminalising people with mental health issues.

BMH argues on the over representation of people from African Caribbean backgrounds within the mental health system (they are 44% more likely to be sectioned than the wider population). Furthermore BMH have identified that there is evidence of people in need of health care who have committed no crime ending up on police DNA databases.

According to Matilda MacCattram a spokesperson for the group states that “African Caribbean communities are 50% more likely to be referred to mental health services through the courts or after being detained in police custody and so will have their DNA taken during this process. Those who are innocent of any crime should have the right to have their details removed. She believes the government should listen and act.

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