Suicide in prisons: prevalence and contributing factors in high-income countries

Women are only 5% of the prison population, yet they represent 25% of the forensic health population

Vishal Bhavsar explores a brand new ecological study of 24 high-income countries that investigates the prevalence and contributory factors relating to suicide in prisons.

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Novel Psychoactive Substances: bridging the knowledge gap

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Derek Tracy takes a first look at the Novel Psychoactive Substances in the UK Project; an NIHR-funded empirical and conceptual review that recommends research priorities in the field.

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Women in prison have significantly more drug problems than men #WomenAndDrugs

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Geoff Page publishes his debut elf blog on a new systematic review of alcohol and drug use disorders in recently incarcerated men and women.

We’re publishing this blog to coincide with the #WomenAndDrugs event taking place in York today, which you can follow on Twitter and via our live podcast.

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Women, addiction and crime: what works? #WomenAndDrugs

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Some of the country’s leading experts on mental health and substance abuse will gather at the University of York tomorrow to “end the silence” surrounding women and addiction. We’ll be taking this #WomenAndDrugs event #BeyondTheRoom and I’m delighted to be publishing two relevant blogs, one today and the other tomorrow.

Here’s the first from regular elf blogger Ian Hamilton, who explores a recent narrative literature review on effective interventions for drug using women offenders.

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Mental health of prisoners: have we reached a state of crisis?

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Ian Cummins highlights the increased risk of all-cause mortality, suicide, self-harm, violence and victimisation in prisoners. He welcomes a recent review of reviews which contains clinical, policy and research recommendations.

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Institutional smoking bans reduce secondhand smoke exposure and harms, but more research is needed

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Olivia Maynard summarises a recent Cochrane systematic review about the impact of institutional smoking bans on reducing harms and secondhand smoke exposure in hospitals, universities and prisons.

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Common mental health disorders linked with increased risk of violent reoffending in ex-prisoners

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Ian Cummins considers the implications of a new cohort study of convicted prisoners in Sweden, which links psychiatric disorders with violent reoffending.

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Substance use disorders increase mortality following release from prison

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Andrew Jones summarises a recent nationwide longitudinal cohort study, which explores the relationship between substance use disorders, psychiatric disorders, and mortality after release from prison.

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Away from crime and into treatment: diversion and aftercare for drug-using offenders

The review showed some evidence of publication bias

Can we steer drug-using offenders away from crime and into treatment? Chris Sampson explores a study of the cost-effectiveness of diversion and aftercare programmes for offenders using class A drugs.

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Prison Officers as frontline mental health staff? Results of a prison-based ethnography

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Andrew Shepherd summarises an ethnography from the United States, which explores the relationships between Prison Officers in Correctional Institutions and Prisoners with mental health problems.

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