Yesterday, the Australian Institute of Criminology has released a report throwing light on the fact that a large number of detainees in the police custody of Australian Police are found suffering from a mental disorder. In comparison to the number of such mentally ill people from the general population, those detained in prison, is quite high. It’s almost the double.
For conducting this study, data over 778 detainees was collected from five major Australian watch houses. Among these, the East Perth watch house was one.
It was quite shocking to know that among the entire group of detainees screened, 49% were mentally disturbed. According to the author of this report, there are higher chances of this figure being an underestimated one. Reason behind this is that in many cases, the police drag the mentally unwell detainees directly to the mental health facilities center where they get a treatment.
Ms Forsythe has also mentioned that out of this group, she questioned 668 detainees if they were earlier also diagnosed with a mental illness by a doctor, psychiatrist, psychologist or a nurse. Moreover, 41% said yes. In fact, there were few who were diagnosed multiple times.
She said, "Understanding the extent of mental illness among those who come into contact with the criminal justice system is extremely important for policing and government policy development and resourcing".