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A significant number of offenders have both mental health and substance use problems. Failure to identify and treat these complex needs can lead to poor outcomes, such as…
A significant number of offenders have both mental health and substance use problems. Failure to identify and treat these complex needs can lead to poor outcomes, such as relapse and re‐offending. Many staff working in the criminal justice sector lack access to appropriate training in this area ‐ a point identified in the Bradley Report (Department of Health, 2009a). A training project was established to develop and evaluate the feasibility of training in dual diagnosis interventions for staff working in the criminal justice system. This was part of a Skills for Health national demonstration site. The course was developed based on Skills for Health learning design principles, using a competence‐based approach. The training was delivered to 58 staff from a wide range of services. The feedback was generally positive; however, a number of issues related to the mental health training needs of people from a substance use background were identified. This paper will describe the process of development of the training and the implications of the feedback for the future development of such workforce development initiatives.
This paper presents the findings of an investigation into a mental health promotion initiative in young offender institutions across England. The study involved a survey…
This paper presents the findings of an investigation into a mental health promotion initiative in young offender institutions across England. The study involved a survey of staff attitudes towards mental health promotion, and surveyed practice run by these staff. Analysis of staff descriptions of mental health promotion revealed a degree of confusion and a lack of clarity over the definition of mental health and mental health promotion. The concept of a mental health promotion initiative which aimed to improve the well‐being of the general inmate and staff population was not a shared vision and not part of the core work of either health care staff or prison officers. It is recommended that any future campaigns on mental health or health promotion should have a central lead, with some flexibility to allow for the development of local initiatives, fostering local relationships and partnerships.
The aim of this randomised intervention study was to test the use of two counselling styles in reducing alcohol consumption in offenders who were hazardous drinkers and…
The aim of this randomised intervention study was to test the use of two counselling styles in reducing alcohol consumption in offenders who were hazardous drinkers and who had been charged with alcohol‐related offences. An additional aim was to evaluate the research process itself before embarking on a larger trial. Participants were recruited from a police custody suite in the south east of England and randomised to receive either a motivational interviewing brief intervention (MIBI) or a standard brief intervention (BI). The Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test (AUDIT) was used to screen offenders for hazardous drinking. Participants were asked to complete a second AUDIT 12 weeks later. Two hundred offenders with alcohol‐related offences were screened over a 10‐month period. Of these, 182 were alcohol dependent and were therefore excluded from the study. Of the 18 who were eligible to enter the study, six refused to participate. Five were randomised to the MIBI group and seven into the BI group (BI). The mean age of the MIBI group was 25 (SD±3.86) years and the mean age of the BI group was 32.4 (SD±7.9). Audit scores were significantly lower at time 2 compared to time 1 for both intervention groups (t(11) = 17.60; p < 0.05). There was no significant difference between the different intervention groups.