Psychiatrists have always been concerned about the mental health of prisoners. If they did not devote much energy to their treatment, it was only because they had more-pressing problems, including how to squeeze ten patients into nine beds. In any case, it was someone else's job to look after prisoners. Luke Birmingham's article (Birmingham, 2003, this issue) could not be more timely, as this situation has now changed. With the publication of The Future Organisation of Prison Healthcare (Prison Service & NHS Executive Working Group, 1999), and the creation of a joint Department of Health and Home Office task force, the Government has made it clear that the problem of mentally disordered offenders belongs to the National Health Service (NHS). There is a plan, there is a partnership and there are targets. Can those of us who have been worrying about prisoners with mental illness sit back and relax, as the solution unfolds?