Open J Psychiatry Allied Sci. 2020;11:96-9. doi: 10.5958/2394-2061.2020.00020.8. Epub 2020 Apr 23.

A study on prevalence of psychiatric morbidity and substance abuse among prisoners.

Tirumani SR, Vennam BSV, Seepana R.


Background: Studying the psychiatric morbidity among prisoners is important to plan the correctional measures and to understand many related factors. Aim and objectives: 1. To determine the sociodemographic profile. 2. To assess the prevalence of psychiatric morbidity and substance abuse among prisoners. Methodology: It was an observational study. Two hundred prisoners were included in to the study randomly. Study instrument were the Mini-International Neuropsychiatric Interview (M.I.N.I.)-Plus and personality disorders according to the American Psychiatric Association’s text revision of the fourth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR). Results: Mean age of prisoners was 36.45±11.2 years. Most of the sentenced prisoners were Hindu, males, illiterates, and from rural area. Majority (83%) belonged to lower socioeconomic status. 33.5% had a history of substance abuse before entering into prison. Majority of them (83.5%) were diagnosed with psychiatric illness. Predominant type found was mood disorder. Conclusions: High psychiatric morbidity was revealed in the study and there should be screening programme at the point of entry to reveal the undiagnosed psychiatric illness. Training of prison staff is needed to respond and support the prisoners with psychiatric illness.


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