European probation services nowadays are faced with large numbers of people with mental health problems. Research has shown that the prevalence of various mental health problems among probationers is relatively high when compared to the general population. It is important to identify those who are sentenced for other crimes, but possibly have mental health problems. It is also essential that mental health needs of people who have offended are given a higher priority in terms of service delivery, education, staff straining and research, because working on mental health issues is also a way of reducing crime and especially recidivism.
Through the expert group on mental health in probation we want to:
- Raise awareness about mental health needs of people who have offended in probation;
- Increase knowledge in dealing with mental health issues in probation;
- Promote co-operation and the exchange of information between national and international organisations and groups that are working in the field of mental health;
- Liaise with state and non-governmental bodies as well as other experts who provide support for rehabilitation;
- Contribute to the training to improve work regarding mental health;
- Be an information resource on mental health in probation for benefit of CEP members and other relevant parties.