Social innovation to address offender mental health: building social relations between the mental health systems and criminal justice systems,

This source preferred by Sarah Hean

Authors: Hean, S., Willumsen, E. and Ødegård, A.

Start date: 1 October 2014

Offender mental ill-health is a major societal challenge. Globally, there are unacceptably high numbers of people with mental health conditions in contact with the criminal justice system with up to 9 out of every 10 prisoners demonstrating signs of at least one mental disorder. This is far higher than the general population average and represents an area of severe health inequality. Social innovation is about taking new knowledge or combining existing knowledge in new ways or applying it to new contexts. These ideas are primarily about creating positive social change, improving social relations and collaborations to address a social demand. Professionals within the mental health and criminal justice systems in the public sector need to collaborate across disciplinary boundaries, and in cooperation with the offenders themselves, to better collaborate and together find socially innovative solutions to the above crisis. This paper applies concepts and theoretical frameworks of social innovation to the context of offender mental health. It explores specifically the coproduction and cocreation of knowledge across disciplinary boundaries of mental health services and criminal justice and the environments and capabilities actors require to promote coproduction and innovative solutions to the above crisis. It ends with the description of an on going empirical study exploring collaboration and innovation between the mental health services and criminal justice in the Norwegian context and explores some of its theoretical and methodological challenges.

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