To what extent do organisational policies, systems and structures support the health and wellbeing of people in police custody in Scotland?
Cornish, H. (2016) To what extent do organisational policies, systems and structures support the health and wellbeing of people in police custody in Scotland?, no. 62.
This study examines the roles of Scottish Government, Police Scotland and the National Health Service (NHS) in supporting and promoting the health and wellbeing of people in police custody in Scotland. People in police custody are some of the most disadvantaged members of our society, they generally have acute social, economic, health and wellbeing needs and suffer significant inequalities. This study brings together existing literature on police custody populations in order to develop a comprehensive picture of the health and healthcare needs. It explores the systemic structural factors that link socio-economic outcomes, health, and engagement in criminal behaviour. Tackling social, economic and health inequalities is a central pillar of Scottish Government's policy frameworks. T. Through policies such as NHS delivered healthcare in custody, Scottish Government recognises the value of equitable, quality, services for this population group. Police Scotland and the NHS deliver services which support and improve the health of people in police custody, and this is commended by international and national scrutiny bodies who hold these organisations to account. Services are however inconsistent across the country and further work is required to embed and spread best practice to all areas of Scotland. If services are to be truly responsive to the health and wellbeing needs of this population, consideration needs to be given to providing social services such as employment, housing and welfare support in police custody. More research is needed to develop the evidence base for effective clinical, health improvement and welfare interventions in this setting in order to reduce the revolving door between the community and criminal justice services.