Food For Thought

27 07 2010

Here’s something for you to think about…

In a recent study it was discovered that 63% of the prison population in England and Wales (think scotland are seperate) have a personality disorder of some form.

Ok, lets put numbers to this.

Current prison population – 85,000 (give or take)
63% of this population – 53,550

That’s a big number no matter how you look at it but let’s look at a different number. By taking the percentage of population estimated to have mental health diagnosis at some point, not just personality problems, which is said to be 25% of total and compare to that what percentage would be in prison.

The maths is boring but the reality is that as someone with a mental health diagnosis you are at least 16 times more likely to end up in prison than someone who doesn’t have a mental health diagnosis.

I’ll admit that the maths is a little simplified, if you took out those with depression and the lesser things then the chance goes up by a measurable degree.

Ok, so how do you feel now? Makes me feel uncomfortable to be honest, but I do see a plus side to these numbers. You see it’s when you see numbers like this that you think along the lines of ‘What would’ve happened had these people been properly diagnosed and treated early on?’

It’s unrealistic to think that early diagnosis and effect treatment would end up with over 50,000 people out of prison and leading constructive lives. However I’d settle for the percentage of prison population with a personality disorder reduced to under 50%.

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