The purpose of this paper is to explore the experiences of mentally disordered offenders (MDOs) conditionally discharged from secure hospitals on a restrictive Section of the Mental Health Act (Section 37/41).
Data were derived from seven semi-structured interviews from three forensic community teams.
Thematic analysis identified seven predominant themes: (1) the uncertainty of the discharge timeframe; (2) fear of jeopardising discharge; (3) progress; (4) engagement with community life; (5) barriers to social engagement; (6) evolving identity and (7) someone to turn to. Findings are discussed in relation to the recovery model and the good lives model.
The findings highlight the importance of fostering trust between MDOs and their care teams to encourage help-seeking. They also suggest that resources should be sequenced appropriately throughout the discharge process, to match the “window of engagement” and maximize impact and effectiveness.
This research gained rarely obtained first-hand perspectives from MDOs, with the findings contributing to a more effective evaluation of the discharge pathway.
McDonnaugh, T., Underwood, A. and Williams, A. (2020), "“Swimming against the tide”: conditional discharge from medium secure care", The Journal of Forensic Practice, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/JFP-06-2019-0023Download as .RIS
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