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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Is suicide contagious? Definition and epidemiology of suicide clusters

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Mark Smith summarises a recent narrative synthesis of research looking at the definition and epidemiology of suicide clusters.

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“Psychokiller, qu’est-ce que c’est”. The risk of violent re-offending among prisoners with psychotic experiences

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In England and Wales, the Mental Health Act (1983, revised 2007) allows for the detention of individuals to hospital for a period of assessment (Section 2) or treatment (Section 3) if it is deemed that they suffer with a mental disorder of a nature or degree sufficient to warrant admission to hospital and it is necessary [read the full story…]

Screening for mental health problems in the adult prison population

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On 14th May 2010, when Kenneth Clarke returned to the Ministry of Justice, the prison population in England and Wales was 85,009. When he had previously been Home Secretary in 1992-93, the average prison population had been 44,628 (Prison Briefing 2010). This represents a 90% increase in a period when crime rates were generally falling. The [read the full story…]

The largest ever study of self-harm in prisons: prevalence, risk, clustering and subsequent suicide

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New research published today in the Lancet shows that up to one in four women prisoners in England and Wales self-harm every year. The largest study of self-harm in prisons also reports that female prisoners are four times more likely to self-harm than male inmates. Previous systematic reviews have investigated self-harm in prisons (Lohner, 2007 and Dixon-Gordon, [read the full story…]

“The links between poor health and reoffending have been long understood” according to agreement

Prisoner behind bars

This is a very important document, particularly for commissioners, prison health professionals, and prison workers because it is trying to overcome the vicious circle that faces offenders when they leave prison, which is finding housing and employment while maintaining their health and re-integrating back into society. Alcohol, drug misuse, other addictions, and mental health issues are [read the full story…]

A Reasoning and Rehabilitation programme reduces verbal aggression and improves problem solving in offenders with psychosis

Stop aggression

Here at the Mental Elf we are always on the look out for research that extends trials into new areas, and offers practical benefits to people recovering from mental illness. Within psychiatric wards violence and challenging behaviour can be extremely distressing, with a 2007 Healthcare Commission report finding that over half of staff and almost half of [read the full story…]

Systematic review finds that suicide risk for prisoners with bipolar disorder may be lower than other mental disorders

Prison wall

In prisons, suicide is the leading cause of mortality (estimated at 3-5 times the general population). Mental health disorders are known to increase the risk. Generally, suffering from a bipolar disorder increases the risk of attempted or completed suicide when compared to the general population. So it would be expected that prisoners with bipolar disorder [read the full story…]

Released prisoners have an increased risk of death compared to the rest of the population, particularly from drugs, suicide and homicide

Open prison door

Nearly 10 million people were in prison in 2008, according to estimates provided by the World Prison Population List (Walmsley, 2009). The United States tops the imprisonment league table with 2.3 million individuals behind bars, that’s 756 per 100,000 of the population. Whatever your view on the US legal system and incarceration, it’s interesting to [read the full story…]