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ERIC Number: EJ805308
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 23
ISSN: ISSN-0017-8969
Barriers to Positive Mental Health in a Young Offenders Institution: A Qualitative Study
Woodall, James
Health Education Journal, v66 n2 p132-140 2007
Objective: To explore the barriers to positive mental health in a group of young offenders. Design: A qualitative approach was used to provide insight into the ways in which mental health for young offenders is experienced and managed. Setting: A Young Offenders Institute (YOI) accommodating males aged between 18 and 21 years. Method: Participants were recruited voluntarily using posters. Twelve offenders participated in focus groups and an additional three interviews were carried out with individuals who felt uncomfortable in the focus group situation. Results: Participants stressed that feelings in a YOI could not be shared due to the masculine ethos that had been created on the wings. Listener services were reported to be ineffective for support because using them would show weakness and vulnerability to other prisoners. Visiting time was the main highlight in the routine for most young offenders; however, leaving family and friends was difficult. In dealing with these emotions young offenders would use coping mechanisms, including acts of aggression to vent built-up frustrations. The issue of prison staff and their effect on mental health was raised by all offenders involved in the research. Unanimously, it was suggested that there are both excellent prison officers who engage with the prisoners, and staff who abuse their power and treat prisoners disrespectfully. Conclusion: Promoting mental health is not the principle business of a YOI. However, this research has generated some issues for consideration for governors and those working within this setting.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A