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Mental Health and the Criminal Justice System

Tags: Policing, Social Work

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Mental Health and the Criminal Justice System

A Social Work Perspective

AUTHOR : By Ian Cummins

ISBN : 9781910391907

Edition No : 1

Publication : Feb 25, 2016

Extent : 128 pgs

ISBN : 9781910391914

Edition No : 1

Publication : Feb 25, 2016

Extent : 128 pgs

ISBN : 9781910391921

Edition No : 1

Publication : Feb 25, 2016

Extent : 128 pgs

ISBN : 9781910391938

Edition No : 1

Publication : Feb 25, 2016

Extent : 128 pgs


The Criminal Justice System is becoming a de facto provider of mental health care, according to a series of recent prison inspections and reports on policing and mental illness which have highlighted the crisis in mental health services.  However, the pressures on prisons and other areas of the CJS mean that the needs of those with mental health problems are often overlooked.  

This book examines the experiences of people with mental health problems across all stages of the CJS and across all the points of contact – police, Courts and prisons between the CJS and people with mental health problems. Providing a clearly written, comprehensive introduction to the main themes in this field, it also has a clear critical edge highlighting the failings in the areas of penal and social policy that have resulted in increasing numbers of people with mental health problems being criminalised.


Highlighting a very important social issue, Mental Health and the Criminal Justice System provides a thorough introduction to this subject for social work students and practitioners.




Key Decision Points

A Short History of Community Care

Madness and the riminal Justice System: Ethical Issues

Prisons Mental Health and Forensic Services

Policing and Mental Illness

The Way Forward: Rediscovering Dignity 


Ian Cummins is senior lecturer in social work at the University of Salford. His main research revolves around the experiences of people with mental health problems in the Criminal Justice system with a focus on policing and mental illness. This is linked to an exploration of the development of the penal state and its interaction with community based mental health services. He is interested in the ways the CJS has become, in many incidences, the default provider of mental health care

Publication Overview

Your Reviews on this book

I particularly enjoyed the refreshing, challenging and energized style of writing, which engaged the reader in key themes related to mental health. 

Kay Wall, University of Worcester

The book clearly raises current and past issues around mental health care provision, CJF and social care amongst people with mental illness.This format works well to create awareness for professional responsibility and accountability in practice, but also critically raises the debate around policy-practice gap relating to mental health provision of mentally ill offenders and wider systemic challenges faced by frontline staff.

Herbert Mwebe, Middlesex University

I find it a very accessible and important contribution to the literature.

Margarete Parrish, Bournemouth University
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