Liaison with the various agencies which deal with mentally abnormal offenders is one of the prime roles of the forensic psychiatrist (Royal College of Psychiatrists, 1988). The probation service is a key agency in this regard. The importance of such collaboration has once again been highlighted with the clear message that the care of the mentally abnormal offender is improved as a result (DOH/Home Office, 1991). However, the provision of a satisfactory psychiatric consultation service to probation clients who have been remanded on bail can be problematic. Much of the work of forensic psychiatrists is institutionally based. Non-attendance rates at hospital based out-patient clinics are high (Bowden, 1978). However, general psychiatrists have found that psychiatric clinics based in general practitioners' surgeries are more acceptable to patients than hospital clinics (Tyrer, 1984). The probation office as a community base for forensic psychiatrists is a valid equivalent.
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