Pathways through the criminal justice system for prisoners with acute and serious mental illness

Slade, K ORCID: 0000-0002-7442-4805, Samele, C, Valmaggia, L and Forrester, A, 2016. Pathways through the criminal justice system for prisoners with acute and serious mental illness. Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, 44, pp. 162-168. ISSN 1752-928X

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Abstract

Purpose: To evaluate pathways through the criminal justice system for 63 prisoners under the care of prison mental health services.
Results: Only a small number (3%) were acutely mentally ill on reception to prison, and this may reflect the successful operation of liaison and diversion services at earlier stages in the pathway. However, a third (33%) went onto display acute symptoms at later stages. Cases displaying suicide risk at arrest, with a history of in-patient care, were at increased risk of acute deterioration in the first weeks of imprisonment, with a general lack of health assessments for these cases prior to their imprisonment. Inconsistencies in the transfer of mental health information to health files may result in at-risk cases being overlooked, and a lack of standardisation at the court stage resulted in difficulties determining onward service provision and outcomes. Foreign national prisoners were under-represented in the sample.
Conclusions: Greater consistency in access to pre-prison health services in the criminal justice system is needed, especially for those with pre-existing vulnerabilities, and it may have a role in preventing subsequent deterioration. A single system for health information flow across the whole pathway would be beneficial.
Summary points:
1. Only 3% of cases were acutely mentally ill at prison reception.
2. Cases identified at arrest as presenting a high risk of suicide, with a history of in-patient care, may be at increased risk of acute deterioration in the first weeks of imprisonment; but they were over-looked for assessment prior to prison.
3. Inconsistencies in the transfer of mental health information into prison health files may result in overlooked at-risk cases.

Item Type: Journal article
Alternative Title: Pathways through the criminal justice system for prisoners with mental illness [running head]
Publication Title: Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine
Creators: Slade, K., Samele, C., Valmaggia, L. and Forrester, A.
Publisher: Elsevier
Date: November 2016
Volume: 44
ISSN: 1752-928X
Identifiers:
NumberType
10.1016/j.jflm.2016.10.007DOI
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Depositing User: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 07 Nov 2016 09:30
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2017 14:08
URI: http://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/29041

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