In recent years there has been increasing concern about the plight of the mentally ill in prisons, particularly those on remand. The 1976 Bail Act gives everyone the right to unconditional bail but mentally disordered offenders find themselves disadvantaged in that their right to bail can be set aside not only because of the gravity of the alleged offence but also for reasons consequent to their mental illness. These include lack of community ties, their own protection or most commonly for the preparation of psychiatric reports. The mentally disordered may thus be remanded in custody even if the charge against them is minor or not punishable by imprisonment.
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