Referral from the criminal justice system to health services

Those who have committed sexual offences are most commonly referred by the defence lawyer or a probation officer. However, it often seems much of a lottery and is dependent upon the psychological-mindedness of the referring professional. It is important to clarify if possible the reason or reasons which have prompted the referral. Sometimes there may be ulterior motives which are only recognized at a late stageā€”a social worker may refer a man accused of abusing children for assessment with a view to treatment. It later transpires that criminal proceedings have been lurking in the background unbeknown to the psychiatrist and a court report is ultimately what was being sought. An initial assessment for treatment with its own parameters for confidentiality (see below) and test of motivation has been converted into a publicly available process for which neither the patient nor the psychiatrist were prepared.

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