Zoccali, Rocco A. and Muscatello, Maria R. A. and Bruno, Antonio and Cambria, R. and Cavallaro, L. and D'Amico, G. and Isgrò, S. and Romeo, V. and Meduri, Mario (2008) Mental disorders and request for psychiatric intervention in an Italian local jail. International Journal of Law and Psychiatry, 31 (issue 5). pp. 447-450. ISSN 0160-2527
The issue of the prevalence of psychiatric illnesses in Italian prison samples has not received the same attention paid at an international level. The aims of the present study were to evaluate the prevalence of psychiatric disorders diagnosed according to DSM-III-R criteria among an Italian prisoner population, and to examine prisoners' requests for psychiatric intervention in relationship to the presence or absence of different psychiatric disorders. One hundred fortytwo Italian male subjects from the Casa Circondariale of Messina, Italy, were evaluated using the
Structured Clinical Interviewfor DSM-III-R Non-Patient Version Â—SCID I and SCID II. Avery high rate of disorders was found among inmates: 85.2% (n=121) of the sample were affected by a psychiatric disorder. Of the total sample, 51.4% (n=73) had requested psychiatric treatment during detention. The detection, diagnosis and treatment of the mentally ill prisoners is a primary goal for a better organization of services and prison settings; screening procedures for evaluating the presence of psychiatric disorders, with the aim to promote differential strategies
for the care and rehabilitation of inmates, are needed.
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