The identification and management of prisoners with mental illnesses in Victoria

Michelle Schilders

Supervisors: James Ogloff, Stuart Thomas

Rationale and aims:

The study aims to:

  • Compare the number, type and length of lifetime mental health contacts and diagnoses between male prisoners and controls
  • Investigate diagnostic stability of mental illness among prisoners,
  • Evaluate the screening outcomes and the range of referrals that are made at the time of reception into prison
  • Identify the timeframe that psychiatric referrals made at the time of reception were received by prisoners
  • Map and analyse the key trajectories that prisoners follow prior to entering prison, while in prison and upon release from prison
  • Identify the range of rehabilitation services afforded to prisoners while incarcerated.


  • A retrospective case linkage methodology was employed in the current study, which identified and extracted records from the Corrections Victoria database pertaining to all male prisoners that were sentenced to a term of imprisonment during 2006 and 2007 in Victoria.
  • In total, 5402 prisoners were sentenced during the two year period and for each individual their records were extracted from the Victoria Police and Department of Health databases.


Schilders, M. R., & Ogloff, J. R. P. (2014). Review of point-of-reception mental health screening outcomes in an Australian Prison. The Journal of Forensic Psychiatry & Psychology, 25(4), 480-494. doi:

Schilders, M. R., & Ogloff, J. R. P. (in press). Stability of life-time psychiatric diagnoses among offenders in community and prison settings. The Journal of Forensic Psychiatry & Psychology.