Janis' letter toParliament
Janis letter to Obama



Extract from Simon Baron-Cohen's Report on Gary McKinnon

If Gary were subject to long-term detention in solitary confinement it is my view that it will likely to exacerbate his depression and increase the risk of suicide.

I would also add that in my view Mr McKinnon does not have the social skills to cope with prison. He is unlikely to be able to negotiate his way through a social group of other prisoners in such a way as to be accepted. Nor is he likely to be able to make relationships, and may offend others through expressing his opinions in a very blunt and direct undiplomatic fashion. But as stated under point 2 above, I don't think it is his social skills that are the main risk factor for his mental health. Rather, his mental health is already very poor from having suffered from anxiety and depression over many years at not knowing what is going to happen to him. Dislocation from the support of his family may be other key risk factors that might exacerbate his already poor mental health.

I have a real concern that he would not survive a term of imprisonment. I am stating this as strong assertion because to put a vulnerable adult who has a disability into a situation of imprisonment when that adult has [stated] that suicide would be preferable, to avoid the suffering that he fears he will experience in a prison, is a decision that should carry with it some responsibility for any consequences. The courts for example, should not be able to claim that they were unaware of the risks prison might pose to Mr McKinnon if he suffers a complete psychiatric breakdown or commits suicide. The courts should have it on their record that if they order him to be detained, it is in the full knowledge that this outcome is a serious and dangerous possibility.