Early detection and early intervention in prison: Improving outcomes and reducing prison returns

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Abstract

Our aim was to investigate whether early detection was feasible in prison and
whether it could improve mental health outcomes in young prisoners. A secondary aim was to explore whether it can reduce returns to prison. Between 2011 and 2014, a total of 2115 young prisoners were screened, 94 (4.4%) met criteria for ultra-high risk for psychosis and were offered an intervention, 52 actually received it. Return to prison data were sought on the 52 participants, receiving a formal intervention. Of the 52 prisoners who received an intervention, 30.8% returned to custody compared to national average reconviction rates of between 45.4 and 66.5%. Our results suggest that early detection is a feasible option in a prison setting, improving mental health outcomes and reducing returns to prison. Mental health outcomes were recorded for a sub-sample of those receiving the intervention. The results indicated statistically significant improvements on measures of depression, anxiety and psychological distress.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)91-107
JournalThe Journal of Forensic Psychiatry & Psychology
Volume28
Issue number1
Early online date28 Nov 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2017

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