This chapter considers the role that mindfulness-based approaches have to play in the delivery of forensic mental health services. It provides a rationale for their use and considers the evidence to support the effectiveness of these approaches in the forensic setting. It is argued that whilst mindfulness is likely to have beneficial effects on mental health and well-being, it also has an important role to play in the management of risk—particularly in reducing the risk of violence. However, wider implementation of mindfulness-based interventions has been limited by the lack of direct evidence demonstrating that they lead to reductions in reoffending. Some of the most significant barriers to methodologically robust evaluation are considered in terms of the need to clearly articulate the nature of mindfulness interventions and the proposed mechanisms of change as well as to ensure that they are delivered with high levels of integrity. It is concluded that although mindfulness-based interventions should play a key role in the delivery of forensic mental health services, there is still much work to be done to develop their application to these settings.


Emotional regulation Mindfulness Forensic mental health Violence Risk 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of HealthSchool of Psychology, Deakin UniversityGeelongAustralia

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