Culture and Forensic Psychiatry
Ethnicity and culture play a key role in pathways into care. With mentally disordered offenders and forensic patients, matters of ethnicity and culture become even more significant. Most of the patients in forensic services in the United Kingdom go through secondary care but occasionally through court diversion schemes. Understanding culture and cultural impact on pathways into care can lead to early and appropriate identification of and provision for patients. These varied pathways are determined by explanatory models, severity of symptoms, resources available and ease of access to them, and also perceived effectiveness of treatments. As discussed later, there is substantial evidence to indicate that in the United Kingdom, black and ethnic minority patients differ in their use of services and treatment as compared to the white majority. In this chapter we explore the role of culture in the practice of forensic psychiatry.