Patients or Prisoners – Implications of Overlooking Mental Health Needs of Female Offenders

Published 23/01/2019
Type Article
Author(s) Samantha Mason, Jon Parry, Sabina Enback, Adela Sobrepera
Corresponding Authors

The Corston report (1) is a government commissioned research and recommendations paper on imprisoned women issues, led by Baroness Corston and published in 2007.  It highlights that issues such as physical and mental health, education and family are particularly pertinent to female prisoners and contribute to the social isolation that many of these women feel. The report provided a set of recommendations to better address the particular circumstances female prisoners face such as improved treatment programs designed to reduce reoffending. Even though initiatives have been put in place to conduct further research linking mental health and offending behaviour in women (e.g. the recently published Female Offender Strategy (2) is looking to shift emphasis from custody to non-custodial sentences), several recommendations from the Corston report around mental health remain unmet.