Discovering Mental Ill Health: 'Problem-Solving' in an English Magistrates' Court
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People with problems of mental ill health are overrepresented in the criminal justice system. Community justice courts have established procedures for ‘problem-solving’ as a way of addressing these and other issues associated with pathways into crime. In this chapter Auburn et al examine problem-solving in one such court in England. The ways in which mental health issues are raised by members of the problem solving team and how signposting is implemented, is examined. Three main questioning forms are identified and the influence that these forms have on the meeting-talk trajectory is discussed. There was a continuum from eliciting ‘no problem’ responses to facilitating claims of mental ill health. Specific ‘diagnostic procedures’ are also identified as important precursors to advice delivery. The clinical relevance of these findings is considered.
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