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Mental health disorders among women in Norwegian prisons

There has been much interest in the first results from the WOMPRIS project: the first article addresses current issues and has received coverage in several media outlets.

The handling of women in prison with mental disorders by the Correctional Services has been a prominent topic in public debate in Norway, especially in the past year. These are subjects that intersect with several of the focus areas in the PriSUD project.

The WOMPRIS group, which specifically addresses health challenges in the female part of the prison population, recently published their first article ("Psychiatric morbidity among women in Norwegian prisons, 2010–2019") in the journal BMC Psychiatry.

The article, among other findings, indicates that the prevalence of psychiatric diagnoses is significantly higher among female inmates compared to males and that the proportion of female inmates entering prison with an active mental disorder has increased considerably since 2010.

"With this article, we finally have good and up-to-date statistics on the prevalence of mental disorders among women incarcerated in Norwegian prisons," says Vegard Svendsen, co-author and representative of the WOMPRIS project.

The results of the study are also described in the ombudsman's report [Norwegian only] on Bredtveit Prison. Based on the findings from this report, the project group has written an opinion piece on the topic, which was published on Dagsavisen's website [Norwegian only] and in their e-newspaper (May 26, 2023).

"It's great that the study has received so much publicity and that it could contribute to the debate on conditions at Bredtveit Prison," says Svendsen. "It shows that the researcher's voice and the work we do in the PriSUD project can play an active role in raising and highlighting important, current societal issues."



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