Changes in mental state associated with prison environments: a systematic review

  title={Changes in mental state associated with prison environments: a systematic review},
  author={J. Walker and C Illingworth and Adrienne Canning and Emily Garner and James Woolley and P Taylor and Tim Amos},
  journal={Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica},
To develop an understanding of the stability of mental health during imprisonment through review of existing research evidence relating physical prison environment to mental state changes in prisoners. 

Mental health symptoms during imprisonment: a longitudinal study

The objective was to examine the longitudinal course of mental health symptoms during imprisonment and individual factors associated with the development of these symptoms.

Continuity of mental health care during the transition from prison to the community following brief periods of imprisonment

Continuity of mental health care for those exiting prison is poor, particularly for those with mental health needs experiencing brief periods of imprisonment, and rates of CMHT contact are low in the immediate post-release period.

Prevalence of mental disorders at admission to the penal justice system in emerging countries: a study from Chile

When consecutive prisoners are assessed at admission, rates of mental health and substance use disorders were higher than in previous studies in emerging countries that had sampled from all existing prisoners at a time.

Brief mental health screening of prison entrants: psychiatric history versus symptom screening for the prediction of in-prison outcomes

At prison entry, self-reported history of previous diagnosis of a mental health disorder was found to be a better predictor of mental illness over three months than screening for psychological distress.

Psychological symptomatology in a prison population: an exploratory study of age, psychopathological history and time in prison

This study shows that inmates with a psychopathological history prior to entry to prison, younger inmates (18-29 years) and inmates who have been a short time in prison present more psychopathological symptoms.

The Effect of Time Spent in Prison and Coping Styles on Psychological Distress in Inmates

Imprisonment can be an intensely stressful experience, and efforts to limit distress are critical to prevent adverse events such as suicide. This study examined whether time spent in prison predicted

The Course of Psychiatric Symptoms During Remand Imprisonment.

Overall, psychiatric symptoms remain stable over time during early remand imprisonment independent of most psychiatric disorders, although prison contexts may vary to a large extend.

Different yet similar? Prisoners versus psychiatric patients – A comparison of their mental health

Treatment of Mentally Ill Offenders in Nine Developing Latin American Countries.

This study analyzes the existing literature on forensic psychiatry, focusing on nine socioeconomically developing nations in Latin America, to improve understanding of treatment approaches for offenders with mental illness and identify emerging themes.

Space and Well-Being in High Security Environments

Research into the spatial dimensions of deprivation of liberty and psychiatric hospitalization has a long and complex tradition. In this context, the increasing numbers of prisoners and patients in



A longitudinal study of prisoners on remand: psychiatric prevalence, incidence and psychopathology in solitary vs.non‐solitary confinement

Objective: To compare two levels of stress (solitary confinement (SC) and non‐SC) among remand prisoners as to incidence of psychiatric disorders in relation to prevalent disorders.

Trauma and its sequelae in male prisoners: effects of confinement, overcrowding, and diminished services.

  • T. Kupers
  • Law, Psychology
    The American journal of orthopsychiatry
  • 1996
Based on the author's first-hand survey of state prisons, inmate responses to the harsh conditions are described and a link is suggested between childhood traumas of inmates and the Trauma of inmates they experience in prison.

Saved by structure? The course of psychosis within a prison population

Results show that poverty of speech and blunted affect significantly decreased over time and the largest group of psychotic prisoners either did not suffer from positive psychotic symptoms or the encounteredpositive psychotic symptoms exhibited a steady or decreasing pattern during their imprisonment.

The psychiatric aspects of imprisonment revisited

Mental health in-reach teams, described as the prison equivalent of community mental health teams, were intended to be the main vehicle for improved mental health service delivery for prisoners.

Continuity of health care for prisoners on release in England is worsening

  • A. Gulland
  • Medicine, Political Science
    BMJ : British Medical Journal
  • 2010
People in prison are often not registered with a doctor and have a high prevalence of chaotic lifestyles, which can involve, for example, substance misuse, says the Care Quality Commission.

A systematic review of research on the epidemiology of mental health disorders in prison populations: a summary of findings

The prevalence of mental health disorders, suicide, and substance misuse remains high in prison populations around the world – demonstrating the need for suitable evidence-based interventions to address these issues.

Improving mental state in early imprisonment.

Mental state change over the first 4 weeks of imprisonment is described, with distress likely to be apparent on reception into prison and relatively resistant to change compared with symptoms of mental disorder per se.

Behavior and Adaptation in Long-Term Prison Inmates

A comprehensive set of measures of behavior, emotional states, and cognitions was gathered longitudinally for a sample of long-term prison inmates across more than 7 years from the beginning of their

Prospective cohort study of mental health during imprisonment

Overall, imprisonment did not exacerbate psychiatric symptoms, although differences in group responses were observed and continued discussion regarding non-custodial alternatives for vulnerable groups and increased support for all during early custody are recommended.

Reactions of Male and Female Inmates to Prison Confinement

The goal of the study was to address the limitations of previous studies on the TwoComponent Model of inmates’ reaction to prison confinement, and present the analysis of the impact of confinement on