(1) Background: The Italian Constitutional Court’s decision n. 99/2019 abolished the dis-tinction between physical and psychological health care in the Italian prison system. However, this and other changes to the penitentiary system present challenges to prison staff, which may vary based on their roles and backgrounds; (2) Purpose: To create a process of dialogue and collaboration that include different points of view, needs, and proposals regarding mental health in prisons, this study collects and integrates the perspectives of 91 prison staff who work in various capacities in eight prisons in northeast Italy. (3) Methods: Each participant was involved in either a focus group or a semi-structured interview, and thematic analysis was used to process the resulting transcripts; (3) Results: Through this process, 10 themes were derived that highlight the difficulties of working with prisoners with psychiatric disorders or psychological distress, including lack of human and economic resources, lack of positive communication between prisoners and society and a sense of professional incompetency; (4) Conclusions: Based on these themes, the need for increased points of view, dialogue, and collaboration between prison professionals and between prison and society is discussed, and the current feasibility of treating psychiatric disorders in prison is considered.

Mental health in prison: Integrating the perspectives of prison staff

Testoni I.;Nencioni I.;Arbien M.;Iacona E.;Gorzegno V.;Selmi C.;Vianello F.;Zamperini A.;
2021

Abstract

(1) Background: The Italian Constitutional Court’s decision n. 99/2019 abolished the dis-tinction between physical and psychological health care in the Italian prison system. However, this and other changes to the penitentiary system present challenges to prison staff, which may vary based on their roles and backgrounds; (2) Purpose: To create a process of dialogue and collaboration that include different points of view, needs, and proposals regarding mental health in prisons, this study collects and integrates the perspectives of 91 prison staff who work in various capacities in eight prisons in northeast Italy. (3) Methods: Each participant was involved in either a focus group or a semi-structured interview, and thematic analysis was used to process the resulting transcripts; (3) Results: Through this process, 10 themes were derived that highlight the difficulties of working with prisoners with psychiatric disorders or psychological distress, including lack of human and economic resources, lack of positive communication between prisoners and society and a sense of professional incompetency; (4) Conclusions: Based on these themes, the need for increased points of view, dialogue, and collaboration between prison professionals and between prison and society is discussed, and the current feasibility of treating psychiatric disorders in prison is considered.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11577/3408004
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