Upcoming BAFS Events

Mental health in police custody


Speaker: Prof Andrew Forrester
Date: 25th March 2021

People in the criminal justice system present with an excess of mental health conditions, this having been most closely studied amongst prison populations. In recent years, however, there has been increasing recognition of the high levels of mental health morbidity amongst people entering police custody and the courts, resulting in the development of new services to identify and manage these groups. Yet despite this increased awareness, research in this area has been limited, particularly as regards prevalence, interventions and outcomes. The background literature will be discussed, along with the results from police custody samples in London, leading to recommendations for further work in this area. What is the extent of this problem? What is being done about it at the moment? What might be done in the future? And how might we ensure the best possible outcomes for these groups, in terms of both their health and desistance from crime?

Prof Andrew Forrester 

Andrew Forrester is Professor of Forensic Psychiatry at Cardiff University, and he has worked as a Consultant Forensic Psychiatrist for 18 years. He is Editor-in-Chief of the BAFS journal Medicine, Science and the Law, and Academic Secretary to the Faculty of Forensic Psychiatry, Royal College of Psychiatrists. He is an executive committee member of the charity Crime in Mind and sits on the British Medical Association's Forensic and Secure Environments Committee. He regularly appears as an expert witness, mainly in criminal proceedings, and his clinical and research work has mainly been within the criminal justice system, including prisons, courts and police custody.