They can build up a picture of you without actually seeing you: mentally disordered offenders’ views of Ministry of Justice supervision and its effect on trust with supervising mental health teams

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Abstract

Media portrayals of mental health services in the UK have focussed on the perceived inability of professionals to measure and manage risk. Policy makers have responded to public concern by making risk assessment a key component of mental health care. Research into risk and trust within mental health services has examined the way in which these discourses affect trust between service users and professionals. A common theme within the literature has been the notion that bureaucratic governance structures undermine trust between these groups.
This paper will focus on the experiences of mentally disordered offenders subject to Ministry of Justice restrictions in the UK. This group of offenders have been identified by the courts as posing a high risk of harm to the public. Whilst mental health professionals are responsible for supervising the day to day care of this group; the Ministry of Justice retains overall responsibility for their management. This paper examines offenders’ experiences of risk management procedures and their impact on their levels of trust toward both the Ministry of Justice and mental health professionals. In doing so it questions the extent to which governance structures undermine trust.
The paper demonstrates that whilst offenders had no direct contact with the Ministry of Justice, they perceived the role of the Ministry in a number of ways. A first group of offenders believed that the Ministry of Justice had no role in the management of their case. A second group of offenders believed that their impact was significant, but perceived them as bureaucrats, concerned primarily with minimising offending risk. A third group of offenders viewed the Ministry as caring individuals, who were concerned to protect their welfare. In these cases, participants demonstrated trust towards Ministry of Justice staff at times seeing them as regulators of untrustworthy mental health professionals.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 26 Feb 2016
EventIII Reunión Internacional del grupo de trabajo Sociología del Riesgo y la Incertidumbre - National Autonomous University of Mexico, Mexico City, Mexico
Duration: 24 Feb 201626 Feb 2016

Conference

ConferenceIII Reunión Internacional del grupo de trabajo Sociología del Riesgo y la Incertidumbre
CountryMexico
CityMexico City
Period24/02/1626/02/16

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