In order for the Crown Prosecution lawyer to achieve this objective, first, they need to be able to understand and emphasize with their client themselves.
- Anna Bird, states that “MIND believes that CPS does not provide sufficient training about mental health for prosecutors to make consistently good decisions concerning mental health and credibility. We understand that prosecutors-indeed all lawyers- receive no mental health awareness training at all. Given the strength of the association between distress and not being believed, it is cited that all justice professionals understand the relationship between credibility and mental health in order to ensure equal access to justice” (Bird, 2008).
- Countless offenders, chiefly those with a record of persistent offending, have mental health problems that may be correlated to their offending behavior pattern. Additionally, this population of persistent offenders with mental health problems are disproportionally higher than those reported in the general offender population. Often they are also associated with ‘issues of drug and/or alcohol misuse and social exclusion’ (Lewis, 2007, p.1).
-Help to identify links between mental health problems and persistent offending, this will lead to a reduction in persistent offending, and in addition help to develop prevention programmes aimed at persistent offenders who have received a diagnosis of a psychiatric or psychological problem.
- A report provided by MIND (Another Assault, 2007) has shown a lack of awareness from the criminal justice system about mental health issues, much of which is because they have received no training at all in the area of mental health, its varying symptoms and effects on the individual.