Imprisoning the Mentally Disordered: A Manifest Injustice?

33 Pages Posted: 13 Feb 2014

See all articles by Jill Peay

Jill Peay

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE)

Date Written: February 10, 2014


The paper considers the nature and extent of mental disorder, amongst those who have been justly convicted, within prisons in England and Wales. These levels of disorder, and of serious disorder, are broadly consistent with the international literature. The implications of the presence of so many mentally disordered offenders for the established purposes of imprisonment are explored. Issues of accessing appropriate treatment are reviewed. A number of remedies are discussed, including those of interventions which would significantly reduce the prison population per se. The paper concludes that whilst for many mentally disordered offenders imprisonment is the right and proper disposal, for others it is an injustice that they are detained in conditions that may exacerbate their disorders, and for some others their presence in the prison population is a manifest injustice. The paper calls for a fundamental review of the purposes of imprisonment for all offenders, in the light of these observations about mentally disordered offenders.

Suggested Citation

Peay, Jill, Imprisoning the Mentally Disordered: A Manifest Injustice? (February 10, 2014). LSE Legal Studies Working Paper No. 7/2014, Available at SSRN: or

Jill Peay (Contact Author)

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) ( email )

Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics