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Ethnic differences in prisoners: 2: Risk factors and psychiatric service use

  • Jeremy Coid (a1), Ann Petruckevitch (a1), Paul Bebbington (a2), Traolach Brugha (a3), Dinesh Bhugra (a4), Rachel Jenkins (a4), Mike Farrell (a5), Glyn Lewis (a6) and Nicola Singleton (a7)...

Abstract

Background

The high rates of psychiatric morbidity in prisoners vary between ethnic groups.

Aims

To compare early environmental risks, stressful daily living experiences and reported use of psychiatric services in prisoners from different ethnic groups.

Method

Cross-sectional survey of 3142 prisoners in all penal establishments in England and Wales in 1997.

Results

Fewer Black and South Asian male prisoners reported childhood traumas and conduct disorder, and fewer Black prisoners experienced stressful prison experiences, than White prisoners. Fewer Black women had received previous psychiatric treatment, and fewer Black men had their psychiatric problems identified in prison. Black prisoners were less likely to have received psychiatric treatment than Whites.

Conclusions

The lower prevalence of psychiatric morbidity observed in Black prisoners corresponds with reduced exposure to risk factors. Higher rates of imprisonment might be explained by higher rates of conduct disorder, adolescent-onset criminality and disadvantage within the criminal justice system.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

Professor Jeremy Coid, Forensic Psychiatry Research Unit, St Bartholomew's Hospital, William Harvey House, 61 Bartholomew Close, London EC1A 7BE, UK. Tel: 020 7601 8138; fax: 020 7601 7969; e-mail: J.W.Coid@qmul.ac.uk

Footnotes

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See part 1, pp. 473–480, this issue.

Footnotes

References

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Ethnic differences in prisoners: 2: Risk factors and psychiatric service use

  • Jeremy Coid (a1), Ann Petruckevitch (a1), Paul Bebbington (a2), Traolach Brugha (a3), Dinesh Bhugra (a4), Rachel Jenkins (a4), Mike Farrell (a5), Glyn Lewis (a6) and Nicola Singleton (a7)...
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