To describe the characteristics of probationers assessed (n=83) and supported (n=31) by a mental health worker (MHW) attached to a probation service. A survey of cases and case descriptions.
Referrals were predominantly White, unemployed males on probation orders. Most had acquisitive/property and violent convictions along with substance misuse problems and personality disorder diagnoses. The MHW supported probationers already in contact with psychiatric services and provided a safety net and sometimes sole support, to those who were not.
The MHW helped to bridge the gap between criminal justice and mental health systems by facilitating contact between probationers and psychiatric services. The clinical effectiveness of the scheme should now be examined.
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