Mental Disorder, Disability and Sentencing: A review of policy, law and research

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report


This paper addresses sentencing practices and policies in respect of convicted offenders with mental disorders, disabilities or impairments. It considers the alternatives to custody that allow sentencing courts to divert convicted offenders away from punishment in prison and, where appropriate, towards treatment in the mental health system or in the community. It also considers hybrid disposals, which have both punitive and therapeutic elements. Despite efforts to reduce barriers to the uptake of alternatives to custody, court usage of orders under the Mental Health Act (MHA) 1983 and mental health treatment requirements attached to community sentences remains low. There is a lack of robust research on differences in outcome between community sentences, orders under the MHA 1983, and prison sentences. More research is needed to inform sentencing decisions and policy.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherSentencing Academy
Commissioning bodySentencing Academy
Number of pages27
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2022


  • sentencing
  • mental health law
  • disability
  • criminal justice
  • criminal law
  • criminology
  • mental health

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