Discharges to prison from medium secure psychiatric units in England and Wales [PAPERS]

Abstract

Background

Early findings from a national study of discharges from 32 National Health Service medium secure units revealed that nearly
twice as many patients than expected were discharged back to prison.

Aims

To compare the characteristics of those discharged back to prison with those discharged to the community, and consider the
implications for ongoing care and risk.

Method

Prospective cohort follow-up design. All forensic patients discharged from 32 medium secure units across England and Wales
over a 12-month period were identified. Those discharged to prison were compared with those who were discharged to the community.

Results

Nearly half of the individuals discharged to prison were diagnosed with a serious mental illness and over a third with schizophrenia.
They were a higher risk, more likely to have a personality disorder, more symptomatic and less motivated than those discharged
to the community.

Conclusions

Findings suggest that alternative models of prison mental healthcare should be considered to reduce risks to the patient and
the public.

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