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Article

Mental Health in Prison: Integrating the Perspectives of Prison Staff

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Department of Philosophy, Sociology, Education and Applied Psychology (FISPPA), University of Padova, 35122 Padova, Italy
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Emili Sagol Creative Arts Therapies Research Center, University of Haifa, Haifa 31905, Israel
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Local Office of External Criminal Execution, 35100 Padova, Italy
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Local Office of External Criminal Execution, 45100 Rovigo, Italy
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Due Palazzi Prison of Padova, Via Due Palazzi, 25/a, 35136 Padova, Italy
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Department of Psychology, Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt, 9020 Klagenfurt, Austria
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(21), 11254; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182111254
Received: 7 September 2021 / Revised: 16 October 2021 / Accepted: 18 October 2021 / Published: 26 October 2021
(This article belongs to the Section Mental Health)
(1) Background: The Italian Constitutional Court’s decision n. 99/2019 abolished the distinction 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. View Full-Text
Keywords: prison staff; detainees; healthcare; human rights; qualitative analysis prison staff; detainees; healthcare; human rights; qualitative analysis
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MDPI and ACS Style

Testoni, I.; Nencioni, I.; Arbien, M.; Iacona, E.; Marrella, F.; Gorzegno, V.; Selmi, C.; Vianello, F.; Nava, A.; Zamperini, A.; Wieser, M.A. Mental Health in Prison: Integrating the Perspectives of Prison Staff. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 11254. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182111254

AMA Style

Testoni I, Nencioni I, Arbien M, Iacona E, Marrella F, Gorzegno V, Selmi C, Vianello F, Nava A, Zamperini A, Wieser MA. Mental Health in Prison: Integrating the Perspectives of Prison Staff. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(21):11254. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182111254

Chicago/Turabian Style

Testoni, Ines, Irene Nencioni, Maibrit Arbien, Erika Iacona, Francesca Marrella, Vittoria Gorzegno, Cristina Selmi, Francesca Vianello, Alfonso Nava, Adriano Zamperini, and Michael A. Wieser. 2021. "Mental Health in Prison: Integrating the Perspectives of Prison Staff" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18, no. 21: 11254. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182111254

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