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Indian J Psychiatry. 2014 Apr;56(2):150-3. doi: 10.4103/0019-5545.130495.

Psychiatric morbidity among prisoners.

Author information

  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Government Medical College, Kozhikode, Kerala, India.
  • 2Government College of Nursing, Medical College, Kozhikode, Kerala, India.
  • 3Department of Community Medicine, Government Medical College, Kozhikode, Kerala, India.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

There is a considerable lack of scientific estimate of psychiatric morbidity among Indian prisoners.

OBJECTIVE:

The objective of the following study is to study the prevalence of psychiatric morbidity among prisoners.

SETTINGS AND DESIGN:

A cross-sectional study at District Jail, Kozhikode, Kerala.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

A total of 255 prisoners who were inmates during the period from mid-April to mid-July 2011 participated in the study. The study subjects included both male and female remand or convict prisoners. Socio-demographic data, clinical history and criminological history were collected from each individual. Psychiatric morbidity was assessed using MINI-Plus.

STATISTICAL ANALYSIS:

Done by using SPSS version 16 (SPSS Inc, Chicago, USA).

RESULTS:

A total of 175 subjects (68.6%) had a current mental illness. Substance use disorder was the most common diagnosis (47.1%). Antisocial personality disorder was diagnosed in 19.2%, adjustment disorder in 13.7%, mood disorder in 4.3% and psychosis in another 6.3% of prisoners. A high rate of a current psychiatric disorder was seen in male (69.7%) prisoners. A significant association was noticed for the different nature of crimes with psychiatric diagnoses and previous imprisonment. Nearly 4% of prisoners reported a moderate to high suicide risk.

CONCLUSION:

Mental health problems among prisoners were quite high. Mentally ill prisoners are at high risk for repeated incarceration. The increased rate of psychiatric disorders should be a concern for mental health professionals and the policy makers.

KEYWORDS:

Crime; prisoners; psychiatric morbidity

PMID:
24891702
[PubMed]
PMCID:
PMC4040062
Free PMC Article
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