Dementia care pathways in prisons - a comprehensive scoping review.

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Treacy, Samantha 
Martin, Steven 
Samarutilake, Nelum 
Phillips, Veronica 
Underwood, Ben R 

BACKGROUND: The number of older people in prison is growing. As a result, there will also be more prisoners suffering from dementia. The support and management of this population is likely to present multiple challenges to the prison system. OBJECTIVES: To examine the published literature on the care and supervision of people living in prison with dementia and on transitioning into the community; to identify good practice and recommendations that might inform the development of prison dementia care pathways. METHODS: A scoping review methodology was adopted with reporting guided by the PRISMA extension for scoping reviews checklist and explanation. RESULTS: Sixty-seven papers were included. Most of these were from high income countries, with the majority from the United Kingdom (n = 34), followed by the United States (n = 15), and Australia (n = 12). One further paper was from India. DISCUSSION: The literature indicated that there were difficulties across the prison system for people with dementia along the pathway from reception to release and resettlement. These touched upon all aspects of prison life and its environment, including health and social care. A lack of resources and national and regional policies were identified as important barriers, although a number of solutions were also identified in the literature, including the development of locally tailored policies and increased collaboration with the voluntary sector. CONCLUSION: To our knowledge, this is the most comprehensive and inclusive review of the literature on dementia care pathways in prison to date. It has identified a number of important areas of concern and opportunities for future research across the prison system, and its operations. This will hopefully lead to the identification or adaptation of interventions to be implemented and evaluated, and facilitate the development of dementia care pathways in prisons.


Acknowledgements: We would like to thank all the funders for their contributions towards this review. We also would like to thank the key stakeholders, especially the prison advisors and old age psychiatry and care advisors, who contributed towards shaping and contextualising this evidence review.

Funder: De Montfort University; doi:

Care pathways, Dementia, People living in prison, Prisons
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Health Justice
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Springer Science and Business Media LLC