Tim Brunson DCH

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Psychiatric morbidity in prisoners.



BACKGROUND: Prisoners are having high percentage of psychiatric disorders. Majority of studies done so far on prisoners are from Western countries and very limited studies from India.AIM: Study socio-demographic profile of prisoners of a central jail and to find out current prevalence of psychiatric disorders in them. MATERIALS AND METHODS: 118 prisoners were selected by random sampling and interviewed to obtain socio-demographic data and assessed on Indian Psychiatric Interview Schedule (IPIS) with additional required questions to diagnose psychiatric disorders in prisoners. RESULTS: Mean age of prisoners was 33.7 years with 97.5% males, 57.6% from rural areas and 65.3% were married. Average education in studied years was 6.6 years and 50.8% were unskilled workers. 47.4% were murderers while 20.3% of drugs related crimes. 47.5% were convicted and history of criminal behavior in family was in 32.2% prisoners. Current prevalence of psychiatric disorders was 33%. Psychotic, depressive, and anxiety disorders were seen in 6.7%, 16.1%, and 8.5% prisoners respectively. 58.8% had history of drug abuse/dependence prior to imprisonment. CONCLUSION: One prison of Hadoti region of Rajasthan is full of people with mental-health problems who collectively generate significant levels of unmet psychiatric treatment need. Prisons are detrimental to mental-health. Beginning of reforms is the immediate need.

Indian J Psychiatry. 2013 Oct;55(4):366-70. doi: 10.4103/0019-5545.120562. Kumar V(1), Daria U(2). (1)Department of Psychiatry, Jhalawar Medical College, Jhalawar, Rajasthan, India. (2)Department of Anesthesia, Jhalawar Medical College, Jhalawar, Rajasthan, India.

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