If you are in distress, you can text WELLNESS to 741741 at any time. If it is an emergency, call 9-1-1 or go to your local emergency department.

Home › Resources › The Mental Health Needs of Justice-Involved Persons: A Rapid Scoping Review of the Literature

The Mental Health Needs of Justice-Involved Persons: A Rapid Scoping Review of the Literature

Purpose

This report reviews recent literature on the mental health needs of justice-involved people in Canada. It is a rapid, conceptual scoping review of both academic and policy sources on the topic, intended to identify priority areas for current and forthcoming discussions. For many critical observers today, jails and prisons have become places of confinement where people with mental health problems and illnesses can be hidden from view. Researchers and policy makers agree that people who live with mental health problems and illnesses are overrepresented in criminal justice systems, in Canada and globally.
We examined the literature through an equity and human rights lens, starting from the position that justice-involved persons, including those convicted of crimes, retain their right to adequate health care, including mental health care, and that identity informs the impact of one’s contact with the criminal justice system — both as an individual and as members of groups experiencing structural disadvantage and oppression. Throughout, we draw out two overarching themes: the tension between trying to assure security while providing care, and the overlap between mental health recovery and criminogenic rehabilitation

Methodology
  1. Of those involved with the Canadian criminal justice system, who experiences mental health problems and mental illnesses, and of what kind?
  2. What are the experiences of justice-involved individuals living with mental health problems and/or mental illnesses? What barriers do they experience when accessing mental health care? How do these experiences vary when we account for multiple axes of identity?
  3. What evidence-based practices and promising policies, standards, program frameworks, and services best support the mental health of individuals who interact with the criminal justice system?
  4. What are the key concepts and values that should inform the design and delivery of programs, policies, and services for justice-involved individuals with mental health problems and/or mental illnesses? How are these, and can these be, tailored to priority populations?
  5. What are the strengths and limitations of the existing evidence, and what opportunities exist for future research, performance measurement, and program monitoring?

Feedback Form

Hey, thanks for checking out this resource. After you’ve seen it, we’d love to learn a bit more about your interests and how you found us. Was the information what you looking for? Was it helpful? We’ll use any feedback you provide to further improve what we do. In appreciation, you’ll be automatically entered in a contest where you could win a cash prize or gift certificate. *

Disclaimer:

  • Completion of the form is voluntary.
  • The information collected by the Mental Health Commission of Canada will only be used for the purpose described above.
Are you willing to be contacted within 3 to 6 months for a short follow-up survey?
In case of “Yes” – please provide an email address

SURVEY CONTEST MINI RULES

No purchase necessary. Open to residents of Canada age 13+ who are the intended recipient of an invitation to complete the Mental Health Commission of Canada survey and participate in the contest. Starts October 3, 2022 at 12:00 a.m. ET and ends March 15, 2023 at 11:59 p.m. ET. 6 prizes available: (i) 1 x $500 CAD online retailer gift certificate prize; and (ii) 5 x $50 CAD online retailer gift certificate prizes. Limit 1 entry per person/email. Odds depend on number of eligible entries. Math skill-testing question required. Click here to read Full rules and entry details.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

SHARE THIS PAGE

RELATED

Serious impact from COVID-19 on mental health and substance use continues, especially among youth A new report from the series of Leger polls commissioned by the Mental Health Commission of...

Physical chronic diseases often co-occur with mental health problems and illnesses. To further explore this relationship, we have developed several resources in collaboration with the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer, including a scoping...

Watch our discussion of the recent policy brief about the impact of the pandemic on families and early childhood mental health with co-author and co-host: the Canadian Paediatric Society. In...