This book explores the controversial relationship between mental health and offending and looks at the ways in which offenders with mental health problems are cared for, coerced and controlled by the criminal justice and mental health systems. It provides a much-needed criminological approach to the field of forensic mental health.
Beginning with an exploration into why the relationship between mental health and offending is so complex, readers will be introduced to a range of perspectives through which mental health and its relationship to offending behaviour can be understood. The book considers the politics surrounding mental health and offending, focusing particularly on the changing policy response to mentally disordered offenders since the mid-1990s. With dedicated chapters concerning the police, courts, secure services and the community this book explores a range of issues, including:
• The tensions between the care, coercion and control of mentally disordered offenders,
• The increasingly blurred boundaries between mental health and criminal justice,
• Rights, responsibilities, accountability and blame,
• Risk, public protection and precaution,
• Challenges involved with treatment, recovery and rehabilitation,
• Staffing challenges surrounding multi-agency working,
• Funding, privatisation and challenges surrounding service commissioning,
• Methodological challenges in the field.
Providing an accessible and concise overview of the field and its key perspectives, this book is essential reading for undergraduate and postgraduate courses in mental health offered by departments of criminology, criminal justice, sociology, social work, nursing and public policy. It will also be of interest to a wide range of mental health and criminal justice practitioners.
"The field of mental disorder and crime is so all-encompassing as to put off many authors, but not criminologists Trebilcock and Weston. Their Mental Health and Offending: Care, Coercion and Control makes accessible a wealth of material. The book deftly takes the reader through the complex intersection of socio-legal issues pertaining across the criminal justice process as they affect those with mental disorder. Their analysis alone of the recent political landscape makes the book an outstanding contribution."
Jill Peay, Professor of Law, The London School of Economics and Political Science, UK
"This book provides an authoritative and accessible exploration of some of the key dilemmas in offender mental health care. Combining academic rigour and a clear understanding of the issues faced in everyday practice, the authors address the core theme of care vs. control in a wide range of criminal justice settings, from initial contact with police, through custody, to rehabilitation in the community. This book is essential reading for criminal justice students but is also an invaluable resource for mental health professionals who want to better understand some of the core dilemmas in this complex field."
Dr. Colin Campbell, Consultant Forensic Psychiatrist, King’s College London and South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, UK
"The relationship between mental health and criminal justice has been the source of much contemporary penal policy debate. This clear and comprehensive book allows the reader to grapple with issues ranging from health ethics to the care of those with mental disorders in secure settings. It should be a must read for anyone wanting to understand the complex range of theories, issues and public policy responses to the challenges posed to the seemingly intractable dilemma of how to best serve the needs of those with mental health needs and to ensure that the needs of justice are met."
Anita Dockley, Research Director,The Howard League for Penal Reform, UK
1. The controversial relationship between mental health and offending 2. Key perspectives surrounding mental health and offending 3. Exploring the politics of care, coercion and control 4. Mental health, offending and the police 5. Mental health, offending and the courts 6. Mental health, offending and secure detention 7. Mental health, offending and the community 8. Care, coercion and control: Exploring the key themes raised by mental health and offending