Offending behaviour and mental illness : characteristics of a mental health court liaison service

Sharples, John, Lewin, Terry J., Hinton, Russell J., Sly, Ketrina A., Coles, Gregory W., Johnston, Patrick J., & Carr, Vaughan J. (2003) Offending behaviour and mental illness : characteristics of a mental health court liaison service. Psychiatry, Psychology and Law, 10(2), pp. 300-315.

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This paper begins with a brief review of recent literature about relationships between offending behaviour and mental illness, classifying studies by the settings within which they occurred. The establishment and role of a mental health court liaison (MHCL) service is then described, together with findings from a 3-year service audit, including an examination of relationships between clients’ characteristics and offence profiles, and comparisons with regional offence data. During the audit period, 971 clients (767 males, 204 females) were referred to the service, comprising 1139 service episodes, 35.5% of which involved a comorbid substance use diagnosis. The pattern of offences for MHCL clients was reasonably similar to the regional offence data, except that among MHCL clients there were proportionately more offences against justice procedures (e.g., breaches of apprehended violence orders [AVOs]) and fewer driving offences and “other offences”. Additionally, male MHCL clients had proportionately more malicious damage and robbery offences and lower rates of offensive behaviour and drug offences. A range of service and research issues is also discussed. Overall, the new service appears to have forged more effective links between the mental health and criminal justice systems.

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ID Code: 81257
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
DOI: 10.1375/pplt.2003.10.2.300
ISSN: 1321-8719
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Psychology & Counselling
Deposited On: 28 Jan 2015 23:10
Last Modified: 28 Jan 2015 23:10

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