Article

Prevalence of psychosis in long term sentenced prisoners

Author : M K Sahu, Lokesh Singh

Background: Prisoners have a constitutional right to adequate health care, including mental health treatment. The situation is particularly challenging in the case of inmates with serious mental illnesses, who require specialized treatment and services. There has been consistent evidence that persons with mental illnesses are overrepresented in jails, and determining the extent of these higher rates is a first step to improved jail management and the development of alternatives to incarceration. Prison populations are growing rapidly in India. Various reports have indicated an increasing numbers of prisoners over the past decade. Despite this, little is known about mental health status of Indian prisoners. Although rates of serious mental illnesses are reliably known in Western countries, it remains uncertain whether these findings are applicable to other countries Method: Present study was conducted in Central Jail, Raipur, Chhattisgarh. Medical records of all long term sentenced prisoners were reviewed. Subjects with history of Psychiatric evaluation were identified and were assessed individually with MINI & SCID to confirm the diagnosis. Result: Prevalence of psychosis was found to be 2.2%. Discussion: Implications of this study with regard to mental health care for prisoners are discussed.


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