Unmet needs of male prisoners under the care of prison Mental Health Inreach Services

Mari Harty*, Manuela Jarrett, Graham Thornicroft, Jenny Shaw

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Recent government policy has emphasised the importance of a patient centred approach, based on individual needs, in service design and planning. Mental Health Inreach Services (MHIS) have been developed in UK prisons, designed on the principle of providing equivalence of care to community mental health teams (CMHTs). To date no studies have systematically examined the needs of patients on MHIS caseloads, let alone obtained these prisoner-patient views of their needs. This study is the first to describe the self-reported ratings of needs of male prisoners (n ¼ 151) under the care of prison MHIS in the UK, using the forensic version of the Camberwell Assessment of Need Forensic - Short Version (CANFOR-S). Inmate medical records were examined and prisoners were interviewed to obtain their ratings of their needs. The results showed that prisoners on MHIS caseload have six needs on average, of which almost half (2.6) are unmet. The most frequent unmet needs were for: daytime activities, psychotic symptoms, psychological distress and accommodation. The findings have implications for commissioning and resource allocation for this population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)285-296
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Forensic Psychiatry and Psychology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2012


  • Mental health
  • Needs assessment
  • Prison
  • Service user


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