The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) has announced that it will be developing guidance aimed at improving the mental health of people in prison.
The 2007 review of the women’s prison estate by Baroness Jean Corston highlighted the scale of mental health problems affecting women in prison. This was followed two years later by the Bradley Review. It recommended much greater use of diversion schemes to prevent vulnerable individuals ending up in custody.
NICE will be developing guidelines for those working in health, youth and criminal justice, education and social care sectors on the effectiveness and cost effectiveness of interventions for the prevention and early treatment of mental health problems of offenders.
Two randomised controlled trials have been carried out in UK hospitals (one in Scotland, one in Wales) in relation to delivering brief motivational interventions (nurse counselling/psychological support) to patients who attend hospital with an alcohol-related facial injury. This group was targeted because: ‘a large majority of assault injuries are to the face’; ‘this group is also prone, as part of an antisocial life-style, to be offenders’ and ‘comes to the attention of other public services – such as the police and criminal justice system – much less frequently’ (Smith et al., 2003:44).
Effectiveness of a Mentor-Implemented, Violence Prevention Intervention for Assault-Injured Youths Presenting to the Emergency Department: Results of a Randomized TrialWritten by Works for Freedom (04/10/10)
The purpose of this study was to establish the effectiveness of a community-based programme where mentors were used to assist young people (10-15 year-olds) who had gone to A&E because they had been injured in a violent incident (assaults or fights). In the intervention group, youths received the assistance of a mentor, who ran a six-session problem-solving curriculum, and parents received three home visits by a health educator.
The programme proved effective in showing trends of decreased violence, fighting and fewer instances of repeat injuries.
The final report of St Mungo's Call for Evidence into mental health and street homelessness. It brings together expert evidence from more than 90 national and local organisations from across health, social care, housing, young people's services and homelessness agencies. The report, including specially commissioned evidence from homeless people themselves, highlights how a lack of integrated health services can lead people with mental health problems into sleeping on the streets. It also shows how difficult it can be for a rough sleeper to have mental illness properly treated as part of their recovery.
Study examining the relationship between legal involvement and mental illness. It looks at users of community mental health programmes, comparing those with legal involvement to those without legal involvement, on a number of demographic, clinical and social indicators. Concludes that the rate of legal involvement among mental health programmes users must be considered in a broad context, ‘with particular emphasis on social disadvantage’.
Addressing the health needs of people in contact with the criminal justice system is a potentially important contribution to reducing recidivism and health inequalities. This report is a scoping review of the literature surrounding the health of people in contact with police custody, court and probation settings.
A report summarising international research evidence on how experience civil, family and criminal justice. The review findings include: despite evidence of the prevalence of 'offending' amongst adults with mental health problems, there was conflicting evidence about the severity of offences associated with this group; and that ‘diversion schemes’, such as specialist mental health courts, criminal justice- based mental health teams or compulsory out-patient admission, provide mixed evidence of their effectiveness.
Guidance on dealing with complex psychological and emotional needs from the National Mental Health Development Unit and the Department for Communities and Local Government.It is designed to assist a wide range of key workers and providers, including social workers, drug and alcohol workers, prison and probation housing advice staff, offender managers, health and mental workers staff, local commissioners and councillors.
This report shows that 'offending' is a major public health issue. Directors of Public Health can take positive action to improve mental health within families to reduce the risk of being convicted of offending. They can also ensure that people who are convicted for offending are supported to get their lives back on track through opportunities for employment and by ensuring they have somewhere safe to live.
This policy paper looks at a range of innovative programmes and interventions that target people and communities at high risk of social exclusion, poor mental health and of being convicted of offending.
Improving health, supporting justice: the national delivery plan of the Health and Criminal Justice Programme BoardWritten by Works for Freedom (31/08/10)
The plan’s focus is the development of a national approach in improving the health and well-being of people caught up in the criminal justice system, but it also aims to contribute to ‘reducing health inequalities’ more generally. It outlines a number of objectives, including: to provide a strategic framework within which local services can deliver improvements; to ensure that services are ‘needs-based’ and ‘delivered to high standards’; to ensure best value and efficiency savings.