Pre-sentence mental health service use predicts post-sentence mortality in a population cohort of first-time adult offenders

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Abstract

Purpose
With the high risk of death associated with mental disorders and their increased prevalence in offenders, it is judicious to investigate the risk of post-sentence mortality with respect to offenders’ psychiatric treatment history.
Methods
Using linked administrative data for a whole-population retrospective cohort of first-time adult offenders (n = 25,537) sentenced to either prison or non-custodial orders in Western Australia, we determined the risk and baseline predictors of post-sentence mortality.
Results
Of 192 deaths within 2 years of sentence completion, deaths from injury/poisoning (55.6 %), cancer (13.3 %) and cardiovascular disorders (9.7 %) mortality. Physical comorbidity was the strongest predictor of mortality were the most common. Pre-sentence history of mental health service (MHS) contact doubled the risk of post-sentence all-cause and injury/poisoning-relatedirrespective of pre-sentence MHS contact. Baseline history of attempted self-harm and being an Indigenous male were associated with an elevated risk of death in offenders with a pre-sentence MHS contact. In offenders without a pre-sentence MHS contact, socio-economic disadvantage and incarceration almost doubled the risk of dying from any cause and injury/poisoning.
Conclusions
Mortality risk in the 2 years following sentence completion is associated with pre-sentence health service use and a range of socio-demographic factors for both incarcerated and non-custodial offenders. The opportunity afforded by imprisonment could be exploited by provision of funding to identify and treat mental illness, impart preventive health education addressing modifiable risk factors and provide transitional care to community-based services, all of which may help reduce preventable post-sentence deaths. Diversion to non-custodial sentences is also a plausible option.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-124
JournalSocial Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology
Volume50
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2015

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Mental Health Services
offender
health service
mortality
mental health
Mortality
Population
death
Poisoning
contact
Wounds and Injuries
Western Australia
Social Welfare
Prisons
psychiatric treatment
cause
Health Education
Mental Disorders
imprisonment
comorbidity

Cite this

@article{79ceace665794e7d984bc9483608e7e8,
title = "Pre-sentence mental health service use predicts post-sentence mortality in a population cohort of first-time adult offenders",
abstract = "Purpose With the high risk of death associated with mental disorders and their increased prevalence in offenders, it is judicious to investigate the risk of post-sentence mortality with respect to offenders’ psychiatric treatment history. Methods Using linked administrative data for a whole-population retrospective cohort of first-time adult offenders (n = 25,537) sentenced to either prison or non-custodial orders in Western Australia, we determined the risk and baseline predictors of post-sentence mortality. Results Of 192 deaths within 2 years of sentence completion, deaths from injury/poisoning (55.6 {\%}), cancer (13.3 {\%}) and cardiovascular disorders (9.7 {\%}) mortality. Physical comorbidity was the strongest predictor of mortality were the most common. Pre-sentence history of mental health service (MHS) contact doubled the risk of post-sentence all-cause and injury/poisoning-relatedirrespective of pre-sentence MHS contact. Baseline history of attempted self-harm and being an Indigenous male were associated with an elevated risk of death in offenders with a pre-sentence MHS contact. In offenders without a pre-sentence MHS contact, socio-economic disadvantage and incarceration almost doubled the risk of dying from any cause and injury/poisoning. Conclusions Mortality risk in the 2 years following sentence completion is associated with pre-sentence health service use and a range of socio-demographic factors for both incarcerated and non-custodial offenders. The opportunity afforded by imprisonment could be exploited by provision of funding to identify and treat mental illness, impart preventive health education addressing modifiable risk factors and provide transitional care to community-based services, all of which may help reduce preventable post-sentence deaths. Diversion to non-custodial sentences is also a plausible option.",
author = "Nita Sodhi-Berry and Matthew Knuiman and J. Alan and Vera Morgan and David Preen",
year = "2015",
month = "1",
doi = "10.1007/s00127-014-0919-8",
language = "English",
volume = "50",
pages = "109--124",
journal = "Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology",
issn = "0933-7954",
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T1 - Pre-sentence mental health service use predicts post-sentence mortality in a population cohort of first-time adult offenders

AU - Sodhi-Berry, Nita

AU - Knuiman, Matthew

AU - Alan, J.

AU - Morgan, Vera

AU - Preen, David

PY - 2015/1

Y1 - 2015/1

N2 - Purpose With the high risk of death associated with mental disorders and their increased prevalence in offenders, it is judicious to investigate the risk of post-sentence mortality with respect to offenders’ psychiatric treatment history. Methods Using linked administrative data for a whole-population retrospective cohort of first-time adult offenders (n = 25,537) sentenced to either prison or non-custodial orders in Western Australia, we determined the risk and baseline predictors of post-sentence mortality. Results Of 192 deaths within 2 years of sentence completion, deaths from injury/poisoning (55.6 %), cancer (13.3 %) and cardiovascular disorders (9.7 %) mortality. Physical comorbidity was the strongest predictor of mortality were the most common. Pre-sentence history of mental health service (MHS) contact doubled the risk of post-sentence all-cause and injury/poisoning-relatedirrespective of pre-sentence MHS contact. Baseline history of attempted self-harm and being an Indigenous male were associated with an elevated risk of death in offenders with a pre-sentence MHS contact. In offenders without a pre-sentence MHS contact, socio-economic disadvantage and incarceration almost doubled the risk of dying from any cause and injury/poisoning. Conclusions Mortality risk in the 2 years following sentence completion is associated with pre-sentence health service use and a range of socio-demographic factors for both incarcerated and non-custodial offenders. The opportunity afforded by imprisonment could be exploited by provision of funding to identify and treat mental illness, impart preventive health education addressing modifiable risk factors and provide transitional care to community-based services, all of which may help reduce preventable post-sentence deaths. Diversion to non-custodial sentences is also a plausible option.

AB - Purpose With the high risk of death associated with mental disorders and their increased prevalence in offenders, it is judicious to investigate the risk of post-sentence mortality with respect to offenders’ psychiatric treatment history. Methods Using linked administrative data for a whole-population retrospective cohort of first-time adult offenders (n = 25,537) sentenced to either prison or non-custodial orders in Western Australia, we determined the risk and baseline predictors of post-sentence mortality. Results Of 192 deaths within 2 years of sentence completion, deaths from injury/poisoning (55.6 %), cancer (13.3 %) and cardiovascular disorders (9.7 %) mortality. Physical comorbidity was the strongest predictor of mortality were the most common. Pre-sentence history of mental health service (MHS) contact doubled the risk of post-sentence all-cause and injury/poisoning-relatedirrespective of pre-sentence MHS contact. Baseline history of attempted self-harm and being an Indigenous male were associated with an elevated risk of death in offenders with a pre-sentence MHS contact. In offenders without a pre-sentence MHS contact, socio-economic disadvantage and incarceration almost doubled the risk of dying from any cause and injury/poisoning. Conclusions Mortality risk in the 2 years following sentence completion is associated with pre-sentence health service use and a range of socio-demographic factors for both incarcerated and non-custodial offenders. The opportunity afforded by imprisonment could be exploited by provision of funding to identify and treat mental illness, impart preventive health education addressing modifiable risk factors and provide transitional care to community-based services, all of which may help reduce preventable post-sentence deaths. Diversion to non-custodial sentences is also a plausible option.

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DO - 10.1007/s00127-014-0919-8

M3 - Article

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JO - Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology

JF - Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology

SN - 0933-7954

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