Assaults by Mentally Disordered Offenders in Prison: Equity and Equivalence
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- Cite this article as:
- Hales, H., Dixon, A., Newton, Z. et al. Bioethical Inquiry (2016) 13: 317. doi:10.1007/s11673-016-9698-0
Managing the violent behaviour of mentally disordered offenders (MDO) is challenging in all jurisdictions. We describe the ethical framework and practical management of MDOs in England and Wales in the context of the move to equivalence of healthcare between hospital and prison. We consider the similarities and differences between prison and hospital management of the violent and challenging behaviours of MDOs. We argue that both types of institution can learn from each other and that equivalence of care should extend to equivalence of criminal proceedings in court and prisons for MDOs. We argue that any adjudication process in prison for MDOs is enhanced by the relevant involvement of mental health professionals and the articulation of the ethical principles underpinning health and criminal justice practices.