Article

Correlates of different categories of crimes by male prison inmates at a central jail in Northern India

Author : Navpreet, Paramjeet Kaur, B. S. Sidhu, Gurmeet Singh, N.K. Goel, Dinesh Kumar

Introduction: The number of prison inmates is increasing following increase in crime in different categories. However, the health of prisoners is a neglected area especially in developing country like India. Objectives: (i) to study the prevalence of psychiatric morbidity among male inmates, (ii) to study the factors which were related with crime, and (iii) to know the use of health services for the psychiatric disorders during imprisonment. Material and methods: The cross-sectional study was conducted from Aug 2007 to Jul 2008. Two hundred male inmates were recruited from four different categories of crime (fifty from each category) after stratification. The inmates were interviewed by using a pre-designed pre-tested questionnaire. General Health Questionnaire-12 was used to asses the psychological status of inmates. Results: The prevalence of psychiatric morbidity was found among 63% inmates. There was significant difference found between residence of inmate and crime (p < 0.05). History of alcohol intake in family member and/or friends was significantly related to history of alcohol intake in inmate (p < 0.05). Rest of factors were not found to be significantly related with crime by inmates. Conclusion: There is substantial burden of psychiatric morbidity among inmates in prison. However, the medical services for same are inadequate. There is definite need for improvement in provision of medical services for psychiatric disorders in the prison.


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