Authors: Nicola Hancock, Jennifer Smith-Merry, Kirsty McKenzie
Event: 2017 TheMHS Conference
Subject: Service Systems, Delivery, Implementation,Research & Evaluation Informing Practice,Policy, Strategy
Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers
Abstract: Individuals recently released from prison are at increased risk of adverse events including homelessness, suicide and drug overdose. Having a serious mental illness compounds these problems. In attempt to improve support for this population as they transition from prison to community, Sydney Local Health District’s Mental Health Team, Justice Health and Partners in Recovery have formed a collaborative inter-agency working group called Custody to Community (C2C). The University of Sydney were engaged to conduct an independent qualitative study to gain a rich understanding of stakeholder experiences. This presentation describes the experiences and perspectives of staff working at the ‘coal-face’ across custodial, community mental health and Partners in Recovery (PIR) contexts. Results highlight the complexity but importance of getting multi-sectorial partnerships ‘right’. Some current policies and practices facilitate the transition. In contrast, others create major barriers to the successful transition of a person living with mental illness transitioning from custody to community living. We will discuss obstacles faced, successes achieved, and lessons learnt.
Learning Objective 1: People attending this presentation will gain insight into the key elements that staff identify as enabling, or in contrast, preventing the successful transition of people living with mental illness from custody to community living.
Learning Objective 2: Gaining a rich multi-sectorial understanding of the experiences and perspectives of staff will facilitate future policy and practice development that could enhance outcomes for people living with mental illness transitioning from custody to community.
Cutcher, Z., Degenhardt, L., Alati, R., & Kinner, S. A. (2014). Poor health and social outcomes for ex‐prisoners with a history of mental disorder: a longitudinal study. Australian and New Zealand journal of public health, 38(5), 424-429.
Mallik-Kane, K., & Visher, C. A. (2008). Health and prisoner reentry: How physical, mental, and substance abuse conditions shape the process of reintegration: Urban Institute Justice Policy Center Washington, DC.