An opinion survey of mentally disordered prisoners was undertaken to ascertain their views on the responsiveness of mental health and criminal justice services to their perceived needs while in the community.The findings reveal that their illness and offending behaviour were not deemed serious enough to warrant intervention by forensic psychiatric services but their needs were too complex for mainstream community care services. They felt vilified and marginalised by many professional workers and were unlikely to seek help themselves. Psychiatric intervention was therefore usually precipitated by a crisis. Hospital and prison aftercare was not always pursued, leading to deterioration in mental health and/or offending behaviour, followed by further detention.The authors argue the need to broaden the referral criteria of community agencies to avoid excluding MDOs. They make a number of recommendations to ensure this vulnerable group receives adequate ongoing care and support following release.
Vaughan, P. and Stevenson, S. (2002), "An opinion survey of mentally disordered offender service users", The British Journal of Forensic Practice, Vol. 4 No. 3, pp. 11-20. https://doi.org/10.1108/14636646200200017Download as .RIS
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