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Book Sections Year : 2014

Prison psychiatry

(1) , (2)
Fabrice Fernandez


The mental health care of prisoners is a contemporary public health issue that is both recent and of substantial importance worldwide. The development of epidemiological data and qualitative data provided by social sciences, such as the anthropology of prisons, remains difficult depending on the political regime in the country in question and the degree of access to public institutions for inquiry.However, three salient facts can be retained. Firstly, the conditions of detention in prison are notfavorable to mental health and can aggravate preexisting disorders and also lead to forms of depression, self-mutilation and even suicide. Secondly, since the shutting down of lunatic asylums,there has been a high rate of mental illness in the prison population. Finally, since the 1980s, prison psychiatry has increasingly played the - highly controversial - role of managing and rehabilitatingcases of "dangerous and severe personality disorder" (DSPD).
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Dates and versions

halshs-00978959 , version 1 (15-04-2014)


  • HAL Id : halshs-00978959 , version 1


Samuel Lézé, Fabrice Fernandez. Prison psychiatry. Andrew Scull. Cultural Sociology of Mental Illness: An A-to-Z Guide, Sage, pp.683-85, 2014. ⟨halshs-00978959⟩
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