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ADHD testing after 'impulsive crime' arrests should be mandatory, MPs say!

People aged between 12 and 20 arrested for "impulsive crimes" should receive mandatory testing for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, MPs have said. Something we should consider for Ireland. 

The All Party Parliamentary Group for ADHD say compulsory testing should also be introduced for anyone sent to jail.

Alex Sobel MP said early diagnosis was key to stopping people reoffending. Mr Sobel, Labour MP for Leeds North West and the vice chair of the group, said teenagers arrested for offences such as "fighting, bike theft and shoplifting" should be screened.

A Ministry of Justice spokesperson said all new prisoners underwent three assessments within their first week during which ADHD may be detected.

"The earlier we pick it up the better it is for the individual, the taxpayers and ability for them not to move on into the criminal justice system," he said. "If ADHD goes undiagnosed then reoffending rates are around 32%, studies show - a third of people with ADHD are going to reoffend because they haven't been diagnosed and no action has been taken."

Researchers have previously found people with the condition were more likely to commit crime - 37% of men and 15% of women - than adults without the condition - 9% of men and 2% of women.

Calls for screening have been backed by the Royal College of Psychiatrists and research has found the estimated cost of caring for inmates with ADHD in the UK was £11.7m.

Dr Louise Theodosiou said screening could "potentially help more children to get the treatment they need for their illness".

The Ministry of Justice said a trial was currently under way at Isis Prison and Young Offenders Institution, in south-east London, investigating "how to deliver cost-effective and safe treatments to adult prisoners with ADHD".

The Home Office said anyone taken in to custody must have their welfare taken in to account and laws were in place to safeguard vulnerable people.