Mental Health in Prisons

Critical Perspectives on Treatment and Confinement

  • Alice Mills
  • Kathleen Kendall

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxiii
  2. Alice Mills, Kathleen Kendall
    Pages 1-22
  3. Penal Power and the Psy Disciplines: Contextualising Mental Health and Imprisonment

  4. Care Versus Custody

  5. Dividing Practices: Structural Violence, Mental Health and Imprisonment

  6. Alternative Penal Practices and Communities

  7. Mental Health in Prisons: Key Messages and Strategies from Critical Perspectives

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 353-353
    2. Kathleen Kendall, Alice Mills
      Pages 355-364
  8. Back Matter
    Pages 365-385

About this book


This book examines how the prison environment, architecture and culture can affect mental health as well as determine both the type and delivery of mental health services. It also discusses how non-medical practices, such as peer support and prison education programs, offer the possibility of transformative practice and support. By drawing on international contributions, it furthermore demonstrates how mental health in prisons is affected by wider socio-economic and cultural factors, and how in recent years neo-liberalism has abandoned, criminalised and contained large numbers of the world’s most marginalised and vulnerable populations. Overall, this collection challenges the dominant narrative of individualism by focusing instead on the relationship between structural inequalities, suffering, survival and punishment.

Chapter 2 is available open access under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License via


treatment non-clinical approaches psychiatry correctional mental health yoga sport peer-support LGBT prison architecture indigenous psychoactive substances mental wellbeing imprisonment colonialism

Editors and affiliations

  • Alice Mills
    • 1
  • Kathleen Kendall
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Social Sciences, University of AucklandAucklandNew Zealand
  2. 2.Faculty of MedicineUniversity of SouthamptonSouthamptonUK

Bibliographic information