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Discussing race, racism and mental health : two mental health inquiries reconsidered

Cummins, ID 2015, 'Discussing race, racism and mental health : two mental health inquiries reconsidered' , International Journal of Human Rights in Healthcare, 8 (3) , pp. 160-172.

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The failings of “community care” in the late 1980s and early 1990s led to a number of Inquiries. This paper will examine one of these key issues that is rarely if ever at the forefront of the inquiry process – the experiences of young black men of African- Caribbean origin within mental health services and the Criminal Justice System (CJS). It sets out to do this by exploring the way, in which, two inquiries both from the early 1990s approached the issues of race, racism and psychiatry. The two Inquiries are the Ritchie Inquiry (1994) into the Care and Treatment of Christopher Clunis and Report of the Committee of Inquiry into the death of Orville Blackwood and a Review of the Deaths of Two Other African-Caribbean Patients (Prins, 1994). The Ritchie Inquiry was established following the murder of Jonathan Zito by Christopher Clunis. The Prins Inquiry examined the circumstances of the death of Orville Blackwood at Broadmoor Special Hospital. These two Inquiries are used as contrasting case studies as a means of examining the approaches to the questions of race and racism. However, the attitudes and approaches that the Inquiries took to the issue of race are startling different. The Prins Inquiry takes a very clear position that racism was a feature of service provision whilst the Ritchie Inquiry is much more equivocal. These issues remain relevant for current practice across mental health and CJS systems where young black men are still over-represented. The deaths of black men in mental health and CJS systems continue to scar these institutions and family continue to struggle for answers and justice.

Item Type: Article
Schools: Schools > School of Nursing, Midwifery, Social Work & Social Sciences
Journal or Publication Title: International Journal of Human Rights in Healthcare
Publisher: Emerald
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 2056-4902
Related URLs:
Funders: Non funded research
Depositing User: ID Cummins
Date Deposited: 07 Jul 2015 15:52
Last Modified: 05 Apr 2016 19:30

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