A systematic review has been published on the Health Research Board (HRB) National Drugs Library: The prevalence of major mental illness, substance misuse and homelessness in Irish prisoners: systematic review and meta-analyses. The researchers reviewed eight studies on the prevalence of major mental illness, six on the prevalence of substance misuse and five on prevalence of homelessness at time of committal.
The review concludes that prevalence among Irish prisoners of psychotic illness and substance abuse is in line with international evidence. Homelessness at time of committal in Irish prisoners exceeds that of international literature. The review estimates about 3-4% of prisoners had a major mental illness, between 1 in 3 and 1 in 4 had an alcohol use disorder, about half of prisoners had a substance use disorder and between 1 in 4 and 1 in 10 were homeless at time of committal.
In partnership with the Department of Health in Northern Ireland, IPH is currently undertaking a review of the New Strategic Direction for Alcohol and Drugs Strategy Phase 2 (NSD-2) 2011-2016. The review will help inform any future alcohol and drug related policy in Northern Ireland. In 2016, IPH submitted a consultation response on improving health in the criminal justice. In 2017, IPH organised a Knowledge Exchange Forum hosted by the North South Alcohol Policy Advisory Group (NSAPAG) – which IPH are members of.
Read more about IPH work on drug and alcohol policy here.