Criminal justice- mental health and the politics of risk

Criminal justice- mental health and the politics of risk
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View Larger Image. Ask Seller a Question. Title: Criminal Justice Mental Health and the Dust Jacket Condition: No Jacket. Bringing together several perpectives from a number of distinguished academic lawyers, criminologists, psychologists and psychiatrists, this book addresses the important issues which lie at the forefront of decision making and policy in criminal justice a. The book brings together several perspectives from a number of distinguished academic lawyers, criminologists, psychologists and psychiatrists.

It is multi-disciplinary in its approach and is jointly edited by a lawyer, a criminologist and a psychologist - all of whom have expertise and experience in this field.

The book is written in the light of the current emphasis on risk assessment and management as well as the recent government proposals to reform mental health law and detain dangerous and severely personality disordered individuals. It provides a theoretical overview for academics and students in the fields of medical law, mental health law, criminal justice, psychology, sociology, criminology and psychiatry.

In addition, the book's highly topical and pragmatic approach will appeal to numerous professionals and practitioners in the fields of social work, probation and forensic psychology. Visit Seller's Storefront. Company no Shipping costs are based on books weighing 2. If your book order is heavy or oversized, we may contact you to let you know extra shipping is required. List this Seller's Books.

The availability and adequacy of treatment for mentally ill people within Australia's prisons are therefore important matters. Prisoners and detainees have the same rights to availability, access and quality of mental health care as the general population. Where health facilities are provided within a correctional facility, there should be appropriate equipment and trained staff, or arrangements made for such services to be available, at a standard comparable to regional and community standards.

Services should ensure equality in service delivery regardless of an individual's age, gender, culture, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, religious beliefs, previous conditions, forensic status, and physical or other disability. This Principle of Equivalence applies to both primary and specialist mental health care. Forensicare, for example, stated that, 'Adequate mental health services are rare in prison'.

In our prison system at the moment we have Prisons have become the de facto psychiatric units but with no mental health professionals. In fairness I should mention that while in prison many of these same people will probably be better fed and housed and have better access to health services than at almost any other time in their lives — itself a shocking indictment of our general level of services for the mentally ill in the community.

NSW Health is providing psychiatric care in prisons, albeit not sufficiently, but almost certainly more than was available to prisoners before they came to jail. Once we get 80 percent of people with mental disorders getting treatment [the level of treatment of most physical disorders] we could look at diversion programs for those in the criminal justice system.

Until then let us be proactive in arranging good treatment in jail. Effective treatment in prison may be impossible because prison officials focus on security and placement issues rather than treatment. If that were done, however, a substantial proportion of the present jail population would have to be accommodated in secure mental health units. He suggested that as there is no test for a mental disorder and the diagnosis is based on symptoms, presumably most prisoners when they recovered would continue to complain of symptoms until their jail sentence had expired, for to do otherwise would result in their being returned to jail.

TEH also provides involuntary treatment of prisoners with mental illness, as under mental health legislation Victorian prisons are not able to undertake such treatment. Victoria is of the view that involuntary treatment in prisons without clear separation of custodial and treatment requirements is contrary to the principles contained in the Mental Health Act and in breach of international human rights obligations. He stated that although there are many short-term solutions which may appeal, he hoped that the compulsory treatment of patients within prison would be resisted.

At the time, all but one of the nine women in these cells were affected by a serious mental illness. The cells have been designed so that there are no furniture or design features that would allow them to harm themselves. The prisoners are locked down for 19 or so hours a day, are given only a hospital gown to wear and are under constant video surveillance.

A mental health discovery that could change criminal justice forever - Kim Gorgens - TEDxMileHigh

The requirement for a further three strip searches at meal break times had recently been removed. The rate of recidivism amongst these women was said to be very high. A former visiting general practitioner to the BWCC, Dr Schrader, made the following observations about the use of the isolation cells at the Centre:. The treatment is the opposite of therapeutic. The use of seclusion is inappropriate for those of risk of self-harm and suicide.

Where NAMI Stands

Observation alone does little to help the woman overcome her distress and suicidal or self-harming feelings and is alienating in itself A key element in suicide prevention is the presence of human interaction. Mr Strutt, a member of Justice Action, a prisoners' activism organisation, referring to the use of isolation cells in NSW, stated that:. If you are a prison officer and you see a prisoner who seems to be seriously depressed So basically you put them in a strip cell.

For all the talk about care and attention they are getting in prisons and hospitals, the way those institutions are structured means they are not getting the appropriate care and attention.

Professor Andrews informed the committee that the association between violent crime and schizophrenia is well established in the United States of America and Denmark, and that a careful compilation of state statistics might well show a comparable situation exists in Australia. Psychosis is associated with violence and treatment in a secure facility for some is essential, whether we call this a hospital or a jail is irrelevant as long as treatment is delivered.

Diversion programs are an attempt to treat forensic patients in a less restrictive environment than a prison. Diversion may result in treatment in the community. Both appear to offer a 'less restrictive environment' than does a prison. Even where Mental Health Tribunals recommend that people be released, unless the decision is made by, for example, a court, rather than treated as an exercise of executive discretion, people may be confined for long periods.

One NSW case brought to the committee's attention concerned a man who shot another, was found not guilty of grievous bodily harm on the grounds of mental illness, whose release into the community was recommended by the Mental Health Tribunal, but who has not been released by the responsible minister.

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The Tasmanian Government, for example, is drafting new legislation to provide that:. Decisions regarding the discharging of patients [from the new secure mental health unit] will be based on health and risk management grounds, with the final decision body being the Supreme Court of Tasmania. This will ensure that management decisions are quarantined from the political process.

Decisions concerning the release of persons unfit to be tried or not guilty on the grounds of insanity should be made by courts or independent specialist tribunals. These bodies should exercise determinative powers. The executive branch of government should not have the ultimate responsibility for release decisions.

The appropriate release of more people than formerly released makes the provision of proper step-down programs and other treatment options in the community even more important and urgent. They also generally have enlightened policies for the release of prisoners. However, it seems that the practice often may be different from the theory, both as regards care and release. The study, among many other things, listed the needs of newly released prisoners - a list that included access to money for immediate needs, accommodation, employment, health needs and social and emotional support.

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The study reported that:. Ex-prisoners and service providers consistently reported that prisoners are often released with 'nothing'. Drug-addicted, mentally disturbed and physically ill prisoners are often released without prescriptions for the drugs they require, or referrals to doctors or other professionals They are released with no money, no home, no job, and without having met, or been linked with, a worker in the community who they can turn to for help.

Forensicare stated, for example, that:. At the point of release, coherent plans for a managed return to the community with prearranged mental health support almost never occur. These principles have general application, and are applicable to the release of prisoners with mental illness. The principles include 'throughcare', which requires the early assessment and referral of prisoners to appropriate interventions and programs, aftercare and pre-release programs.

And Justice for All: What Works at the Interface of Mental Health and Criminal Justice

As a result, the adoption of enlightened re-entry programs would require not only the wholehearted cooperation of corrections authorities, but significant allocations of additional resources for community health. That plan would include providing adequate financial resources, budgeting and living skills and linkage to exit housing with appropriate supports.

Inreach services, where local community health teams, or where available, forensic mental health teams, begin to manage prisoners prior to their release would be a major contribution. One potential reform worth considering is that mental health services in all prisons become part of the area mental health service in which the prison is situated, with special Inreach teams, augmented by input from specialist forensic mental health professionals.

As is now beginning to occur in the UK.

Where NAMI Stands

Professor Andrews submitted that:. Units that can't discharge can't admit. Australia presently has sufficient acute short stay beds if the beds were occupied only by acute care patients.