Court Based Psychiatric Assessment: A Case for an Integrated and Diversionary Public Health Role

South, N (2005) Court Based Psychiatric Assessment: A Case for an Integrated and Diversionary Public Health Role. Journal of Forensic Psychiatry and Psychology, 16(3), pp. 577-591.

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This article describes a follow-up study of 232 individuals who underwent psychiatric assessment by a Criminal Justice Mental Health Team (CJMHT) in 2001/2002, and also draws upon in-depth interviews conducted with 26 of the cohort. At assessment many people are identified with substance misuse problems, as homeless and with a history of psychiatric contact but in the main their problems are of insufficient severity to merit diversion to psychiatric hospital. The study mapped service contact, housing and offending in the 12 months following assessment and compared this to the 12 months prior to assessment, and found increased levels of service contact but also increased levels of offending and no decrease in homelessness. Thus assessment by the CJMHT brought few discernible advantages for the majority of clients. This was also the perception of the 26 clients who were interviewed. Their own perceptions of their lifestyle and the support that they deemed most valuable are described to identify means of enhancing the efficacy of court assessment.

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6 citations in Scopus
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5 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 52001
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
DOI: 10.1080/14789940412331313160
ISSN: 1478-9949
Deposited On: 17 Jul 2012 03:42
Last Modified: 20 Apr 2015 00:38

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