Prison population: mental health needs

Research into mental health issues experienced by people in prison. One of four studies on the health needs of Scotland's prison population.


Bebbington, P., Jakobowitz, S., McKenzie, N., Killaspy, H., Iveson, R., Duffield, G., & Kerr, M. (2017). Assessing needs for psychiatric treatment in prisoners: 1. Prevalence of disorder. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, 52(2), 221-229.

Braun, V., & Clarke, V. (2006). Using thematic analysis in psychology. Qualitative Research in Psychology, 3(2), 77-101.

Brutus, L., Mackie, P., Millard, A., Fraser, A., Conacher, A., Hardie, S., ... & Meechan, H. (2012). Better health, better lives for prisoners: A framework for improving the health of Scotland's prisoners. Scottish Public Health Network: Edinburgh. [Accessed 7.03.2022].

Cooke, D. (1994). Psychological disturbance amongst prisoners. Scottish Prison Service, Occasional Papers, Report No.3/1994.

Davidson, M., Humphreys, M.S., Johnstone, E.C., Owens, D.G. (1995). Prevalence of psychiatric morbidity among remand prisoners in Scotland. British Medical Journal, 167(4), 545–548.

Department of Health & Social Care. (2018). Independent review of the Mental Health Act 1983. Modernizing the Mental Health Act. Increasing choice, reducing compulsion. Final report of the Independent Review of the Mental Health Act 1983. [Accessed 01.03.2022]

Dolan, R., Hann, M., Edge, D., & Shaw, J. (2019). Pregnancy in prison, mental health and admission to prison mother and baby units. The Journal of Forensic Psychiatry & Psychology, 30(3), 448- 466.

European Convention on Human Rights. (2001). Keenan vs United Kingdom. [Accessed 19.02.2022].

Facer-Irwin, E., Karatzias, T., Bird, A., Blackwood, N., & MacManus, D. (2021). PTSD and complex PTSD in sentenced male prisoners in the UK: prevalence, trauma antecedents, and psychiatric comorbidities. Psychological Medicine, 1-11.

Fazel, S., & Seewald, K. (2012). Severe mental illness in 33 588 prisoners worldwide: systematic review and meta-regression analysis. The British Journal of Psychiatry, 200(5), 364-373.

Farooq, R., Emerson, L. M., Keoghan, S., & Adamou, M. (2016). Prevalence of adult ADHD in an all-female prison unit. ADHD Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorders, 8(2), 113-119.

Flanigan, C., Hunter-Rowe, C., & Smart, E. (2021, June). Health and healthcare needs assessment: Inverness prison. NHS Highland. [Accessed 17.03.2022]

Forsyth, K., Heathcote, L., Senior, J., Malik, B., Meacock, R., Perryman, K., ... & Shaw, J. (2020). Dementia and mild cognitive impairment in prisoners aged over 50 years in England and Wales: a mixed-methods study. Health Services and Delivery Research, 8(27).

Graham, L., Heller‐Murphy, S., Aitken, L., & McAuley, A. (2012). Alcohol problems in a remand Scottish prisoner population. International Journal of Prisoner Health, 8(2), 51-59.

Graham, L. (2007). Prison health in Scotland. A health care needs assessment. Scottish Prison Service. [Accessed 1.03.2022]

Hassan, L., Birmingham, L., Harty, M. A., Jarrett, M., Jones, P., King, C., ... & Shaw, J. (2011). Prospective cohort study of mental health during imprisonment. The British Journal of Psychiatry, 198(1), 37-42.

Hassiotis, A., Gazizova, D., Akinlonu, L., Bebbington, P., Meltzer, H., & Strydom, A. (2011). Psychiatric morbidity in prisoners with intellectual disabilities: analysis of prison survey data for England and Wales. The British Journal of Psychiatry, 199(2), 156-157.

Hayes, S., Shackell, P., Mottram, P., & Lancaster, R. (2007). The prevalence of intellectual disability in a major UK prison. British Journal of Learning Disabilities, 35(3), 162-167.

Herrington, V. (2009). Assessing the prevalence of intellectual disability among young male prisoners. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 53(5), 397-410.

His Majesty's Inspectorate of Prisons for Scotland. (2019, May). Report on an expert review of the provision of mental health services, for young people entering and in custody at HMP YOI Polmont. [Accessed 09.02.2022]

Howitt, S. & Thomson, L. D. G. (2015, March). Screening for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in HMYOI Polmont. University of Edinburgh.

Jarrett, M., Craig, T., Parrott, J., Forrester, A., Winton-Brown, T., Maguire, H., ... & Valmaggia, L. (2012). Identifying men at ultra high risk of psychosis in a prison population. Schizophrenia Research, 136(1-3), 1-6.

Jones, G. Y., & Hoffmann, N. G. (2006). Alcohol dependence: international policy implications for prison populations. Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention, and Policy, 1(33), 1-6.

Kingston, P., Le Mesurier, N., Yorston, G., Wardle, S., & Heath, L. (2011). Psychiatric morbidity in older prisoners: unrecognized and undertreated. International Psychogeriatrics, 23(8), 1354-1360.

Kreis, M., Ogilvie, C., Connor, I., & Lowe, S. (2016). Forth Valley Prisons Health Needs Assessment: Substance misuse and mental health needs. NHS Forth Valley and Forth Valley Alcohol and Drug Partnership.

MacAskill, S., Parkes, T., Brooks, O., Graham, L., McAuley, A., & Brown, A. (2011). Assessment of alcohol problems using AUDIT in a prison setting: more than an 'aye or no' question. BMC Public Health, 11(1), 1-12.

McCarthy, J., Chaplin, E., Underwood, L., Forrester, A., Hayward, H., Sabet, J., ... & Murphy, D. (2015). Screening and diagnostic assessment of neurodevelopmental disorders in a male prison. Journal of Intellectual Disabilities and Offending Behaviour, 6(2), 102-111.

McCarthy, R., Mukherjee, R. A. S., Fleming, K. M., Green, J., Clayton-Smith, J., Price, A. D., ... & Cook, P. A. (2021). Prevalence of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) in Greater. Pediatrics, 171, 948- 956.

McMillan, T. M., Aslam, H., Crowe, E., Seddon, E., & Barry, S. J. (2021). Associations between significant head injury and persisting disability and violent crime in women in prison in Scotland, UK: a cross-sectional study. The Lancet Psychiatry, 8(6), 512-520.

McMillan, T. M., Graham, L., Pell, J. P., McConnachie, A., & Mackay, D. F. (2019). The lifetime prevalence of hospitalised head injury in Scottish prisons: A population study. Plos One, 14(1), e0210427.

Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland (2021). Mental Health Act monitoring report 2020-2021. [Accessed 9.02.2022]

Murdoch, N., Morris, P., & Holmes, C. (2008). Depression in elderly life sentence prisoners. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry: A Journal of the Psychiatry of Late Life and Allied Sciences, 23(9), 957-962.

Murphy, G.H., Gardner, J., & Freeman, M. J. (2017). Screening prisoners for intellectual disabilities in three English prisons. Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities, 30(1), 198-204.

National Prisoner Healthcare Network (2014). Mental health in Scottish prisons: Report of the Mental Health Subgroup. [Accessed 21.2.2022]

National Prisoner Healthcare Network (2016). Mental health subgroup: Implementation report. [Accessed 21.2.2022]

Newbury‐Birch, D., Harrison, B., Brown, N., & Kaner, E. (2009). Sloshed and sentenced: a prevalence study of alcohol use disorders among offenders in the North East of England. International Journal of Prisoner Health, 5(4), 201-211.

Newbury-Birch, D., Jackson, K., Hodgson, T., Gilvarry, E., Cassidy, P., Coulton, S., ... & Kaner, E. (2015). Alcohol-related risk and harm amongst young offenders aged 11-17. International Journal of Prisoner Health, 11(2), 75- 86.

Offender Health Research Network (2009). A national evaluation of prison mental health in-reach services: A report to the National Institute of Health Research. [Accessed 9.02.2022]

O'Hara, K., Forsyth, K., Webb, R., Senior, J., Hayes, A. J., Challis, D., ... & Shaw, J. (2016). Links between depressive symptoms and unmet health and social care needs among older prisoners. Age and Ageing, 45(1), 158-163.

O'Rourke, C., Linden, M. A., & Lohan, M. (2018). Traumatic brain injury and abuse among female offenders compared to non-incarcerated controls. Brain Injury, 32(13-14), 1787-1794.

Popova, S., Lange, S., Bekmuradov, D., Mihic, A., & Rehm, J. (2011). Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder prevalence estimates in correctional systems: a systematic literature review. Canadian Journal of Public Health, 102(5), 336-340.

Public Health Scotland. (2021, March). Resource Allocation Formula (NRAC): Results for financial year 2023 to 2024. [Accessed 24.2.2022]

Robinson, L., Spencer, M. D., Thomson, L. D., Stanfield, A. C., Owens, D. G., Hall, J., & Johnstone, E. C. (2012). Evaluation of a screening instrument for autism spectrum disorders in prisoners. PLoS One, 7(5), e36078.

Royal College of Psychiatrists. (2018). Standards for Prison Mental Health Services – Fourth Edition. Publication CCQI1293. [Accessed 9.3.2022]

Rutherford, M., Maciver, D., Johnston, L., Prior, S., & Forsyth, K. (2021). Development of a pathway for multidisciplinary neurodevelopmental assessment and diagnosis in children and young people. Children, 8(11), 1033.

The Scottish Government (2021a). Scottish prison population statistics: Legal status, 2019-20. [Accessed 19.2.2022]

The Scottish Government (2021b). Trauma-Informed Practice: A Toolkit for Scotland. [Accessed 19.02.2022]

The Scottish Government (2020, June). Scottish prison population: Statistics 2019 to 2020. [Accessed 19.2.2022]

The Scottish Government (2017, March). Mental Health Strategy 2017-2027. [Accessed 23.2.2022]

Scottish Health in Custody Network (2022, February 18). Prison Care: Offending and Brain Injury. [Accessed 9.02.2022]

Scottish Prison Service (2018). Self harm & suicide attempts, FOI HQ 18004, 4 July 2018. Response to Freedom of Information Request. [Accessed 9.02.2022]

Scottish Prison Service (2019a). Prison Survey 2019. [Accessed 9.02.2022]

Scottish Prison Service (2019b). Self harm incidents, FOI HQ 18297, 18 March 2019. Response to Freedom of Information Request. [Accessed 9.02.2022]

Scottish Prison Service (2016). Unlocking our potential: a value proposition. [Accessed 19.02.2022]

Scottish Public Health Observatory (2010). Dimensions of Diversity: Population differences and health improvement opportunities. [Accessed 9.03.2022]

Senior, J., Birmingham, L., Harty, M. A., Hassan, L., Hayes, A. J., Kendall, K., ... & Shaw, J. (2013). Identification and management of prisoners with severe psychiatric illness by specialist mental health services. Psychological Medicine, 43(7), 1511-1520.

Singleton, N., Gatward, R., & Meltzer, H. (1998). Psychiatric morbidity among prisoners in England and Wales. London: Stationery Office.

Slade, K., & Forrester, A. (2013). Measuring IPDE-SQ personality disorder prevalence in pre-sentence and early-stage prison populations, with sub-type estimates. International Journal of Law and Psychiatry, 36(3-4), 207-212.

Stewart, D. (2008). Drug use and perceived treatment need among newly sentenced prisoners in England and Wales. Addiction, 104, 243-247.

Talbot, J. (2008). Prisoners' voices: No One Knows report and final recommendations. Prison Reform Trust. [Accessed 9.02.2022]

Tyler, N., Miles, H. L., Karadag, B., & Rogers, G. (2019). An updated picture of the mental health needs of male and female prisoners in the UK: prevalence, comorbidity, and gender differences. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, 54(9), 1143-1152.

Underwood, L., McCarthy, J., Chaplin, E., Forrester, A., Mills, R., & Murphy, D. (2016). Autism spectrum disorder traits among prisoners. Advances in Autism, 2(3), 106-117.

Williams, W. H., Mewse, A. J., Tonks, J., Mills, S., Burgess, C. N., & Cordan, G. (2010). Traumatic brain injury in a prison population: prevalence and risk for re-offending. Brain Injury, 24(10), 1184-1188.

Young, S., González, R. A., Mullens, H., Mutch, L., Malet-Lambert, I., & Gudjonsson, G. H. (2018). Neurodevelopmental disorders in prison inmates: comorbidity and combined associations with psychiatric symptoms and behavioural disturbance. Psychiatry Research, 261, 109- 115.



Back to top