Mental health and well-being in prisons and places of detention


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This special issue aims to focus on the associations between incarceration and mental health and well-being. We are particularly interested in original research papers that characterize the mental health and well-being of people living in detention around the around, including descriptive and experimental studies that focus on interventions and strategies developed and implemented to prevent suicide and self-harm. We would be very keen to obtain evidence of the extent to which incarceration impacts on mental health and well-being and conversely on the extent to which mental health disorders (and comorbid substance use disorders) may contribute to incarceration and recidivism. 

Although much has been written about mental health in prison, most of research produced is centred on prevalence studies and occasionally on meta-analysis. There is little evidence on interventions and processes developed and implemented to prevent harms and consequences from mental health disorders and their aggravation from the detention environment, overcrowding and solitary confinement. There is abundant and recent evidence about suicide following release, but likewise there are not so may papers indicating how countries could work better, mostly in terms of intersectoral collaboration to prevent suicide following release, to ensure continuation of treatment and thus prevent recidivism. Furthermore, we believe sharing good practices in an international reputable journal may to inspire other countries to adopt and adapt these practices, ultimately impacting on the well-being of people living in detention.  


Guest Editors

Filipa Alves da Costa
WHO Regional Office for Europe 
[email protected]

Maaike Kempes
Leiden University & NIFP, the Netherlands 
[email protected] 

Submissions Information

Submissions are made using ScholarOne Manuscripts. Registration and access are available by clicking the button below. 
Submit your paper here! 
Author guidelines must be strictly followed.
Authors should select (from the drop-down menu) the special issue title at the appropriate step in the submission process, i.e. in response to “Please select the issue you are submitting to”. 
Submitted articles must not have been previously published, nor should they be under consideration for publication anywhere else, while under review for this journal.

Key Deadlines

Opening date for manuscripts submissions: 31 May 2024
Closing date for manuscripts submission: 30 November 2024