Review of point-of-reception mental health screening outcomes in an Australian Prison

Michelle Renee Schilders, James Robert Ogloff

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11 Citations (Scopus)


The point-of-reception into prison is a critical juncture as it provides early opportunities to identify mental illness and initiate treatment. Although large numbers of mentally ill prisoners are received into prison each day, research investigating mental health screening outcomes at the point-of-reception is limited. This study aimed to address this gap by examining reception screening outcomes for all prisoners received into an Australian prison during 2009 (n = 4229). Overall, 19 of all prisoners were mentally ill, and another 20 had a history of psychiatric illness that required ongoing care. Mentally ill prisoners had a higher risk of suicide or self-harm and required more observation than other prisoners. At reception, no mentally ill prisoners were transferred to the state s forensic hospital and few were transferred to the prison s mental health unit, or provided support service referrals. These findings highlight that outcomes made at the point-of-reception are heavily influenced by the availability of prison mental health resources
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)480 - 494
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Forensic Psychiatry and Psychology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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