Challenges at the interface of working between mental health services and criminal justice system.

Hean, S., Warr, J. and Staddon, S., 2009. Challenges at the interface of working between mental health services and criminal justice system. Medicine, Science and the Law, 49 (3), pp. 170-178.

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Abstract

Background: Provision of mental health reports for defendants in contact with the criminal justice system is problematic. Aim To explore factors that facilitate the flow of information on a defendant between the courts and the mental health services by: • identifying key challenges to this information transfer from a court worker’s perspective • Exploring potential mismatches in the expectations held by the criminal justice system and the mental health services of the timeframes in which reports should be delivered. • Exploring the perceived usefulness of reports Method: In part 1, questionnaires were distributed to a population of 2107 court workers. In part 2, monitoring forms were completed by court and health professionals on each report request made over a 7 month period. Results: Three key challenges to information transfer were identified: • delays in report production • perceived inadequacies in the report content and • report funding Perceived timelines with which respondents believed reports should be delivered varied and there is mismatch between the expectations of the two services on these timeframes. Perceptions on the usefulness of court reports also varied. Conclusion Poor interagency communications are caused by lack of a clear, shared protocol outlining agreed timelines, report content and lines of responsibility related to resource provision. Clear service level agreements are required between services to achieve clarity. Declaration of interest. none

Item Type:Article
ISSN:0025-8024
Subjects:Social Sciences > Law
Technology > Medicine and Health
Group:School of Health and Social Care
ID Code:12045
Deposited By:Dr Sarah Hean
Deposited On:02 Nov 2009 19:16
Last Modified:07 Mar 2013 15:17

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