Mentally Disordered Offender

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Healthcare delivery for mentally disordered offenders (MDO) in Medium secure Services (MSU)

It is a requirement from the government policies that wherever possible, mentally disordered offenders (MDO), must receive a comprehensive programme of care and treatment that is tailored to their specific individual needs (Wilson, 2004).The National service framework for mental health (DH,1999), requires healthcare services provided for MDOs to match those available for the general public. MDOs are vulnerable individuals with serious mental health problems, who may have been engaged in some form of criminal deviance and cause danger to the public (McCann et; al, 2003). Treatment and interventions provided to this individual group should aim to alleviate symptoms of their mental health problems, increase quality of life and reduce the risk of recidivism (Humphreys,2000). However, all professional working with MDOs should have good knowledge base and understanding of the link between mental health problems and their offending behavior in order to provide effective interventions that aim to rehabilitate this client group(Dale, 2001) .

This assignment aim to discuss an aspect of health service provision for mentally disordered offenders (MDO) focusing mainly, on service provision for adult MDOs in medium secure unit (MSU). The author’s rationale for choosing this aspect is because she worked in Male MSU for MDO in a private hospital. While working there she developed some knowledge and understanding of the importance of mental health policy and criminal justice system. The Mental Health Act (1983) sections make the provision of care for MDO and their transfer from criminal justice system to hospitals for admission and treatment (2000). The author also realised the importance of communication among the multi-disciplinary team and some of the legal and ethical issues arises in relation to the provision of health care for MDOs such as, confidentiality and the restriction of liberty due to security and safety measures. Sharing of information can at times compromise the issue of confidentiality, if in the case of patients’ behaviour being dangerous or risk to others, confidentiality is often breached in terms of protecting others but, decision of breaching of information will need justification.

Within this essay, the author will start by defining MDO and discuss the nature and causes of offending behaviour and prevalence. Secondly Medium secure unit (MSU) will be discussed, that is looking at what they are/they do, their background when they were developed and evaluate the effectiveness of the services they provide. Third section will discuss the diversion process of MDOs from criminal justice to hospitals. Lastly the author will discuss interventions/ treatment options available within a MSU for the management MDOs and the effectiveness of these interventions then finalise with the conclusion.

Mental disorder has been described as the disability of mentally disordered offender” is referred to an individual with mental illness, whose mental illness is linked to their criminal behaviour and may have been in contact with criminal justice system (Prior ,2007) .mind (Department of health (DH), 2008),and “ Various types of offences maybe committed by MDOs, but these may vary greatly from minor to severe offence ( Humphreys, 2000). Sexual offences, violence/ antisocial behaviour, burglary, robbery, arson and criminal damage are some type of crimes found to have been committed by those in offender healthcare settings but, Sexual offences and Violence are most commonly crimes found to have been commited by half of MDO patients detained in forensic setting ( Duggan & Rutherfold,2008).

The actual cause of offending behaviour among mentally disordered people is not known, however evidence suggest that there is a link between mental health problems and criminal behaviour (Hagell & Dowling, 1999 and Woodward et al,...
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