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Library Europe's largest nursing-specific collection

Nursing in Justice and Forensic Health

The guide is designed primarily for nurses, health care assistants and other health care practitioners who are working in, or want to work in, health care in Criminal Justice Services (CJS) providing care to people in a broad range of environments, from police custody to high security prisons. Forensic nurses work in caring for people with mental illnesses who have committed a criminal offence and are receiving services in the community or secure settings. Use this guide to find information resources about nursing in justice and forensic nursing including books, reports and journal articles.

Last updated: 30/08/2018

Key Resources

Royal College of Nursing (2016) Positive and proactive care: reducing the need for restrictive interventions, London: RCN. Royal College of Nursing (2016) Positive and proactive care: reducing the need for restrictive interventions, London: RCN.
Royal College of Nursing (2017) Supporting nursing staff caring for patients from places of detention, London: RCN.
National Offender Management Service (2014) Prisons and probation guidance. Healthcare for offenders. How offender healthcare is managed in prisons and in the community.
National Offender Management Service and NHS England (2015) Working with personality disordered offenders: a practitioner’s guide.

Nursing in Justice

HM Chief Inspector of Prisons for England and Wales (2017) The Annual report of HM Chief Inspector of prisons from 1 April 2016 to 31 March 2017, London: HMIP
Howard League for Penal Reform (2017) Preventing prison suicide: staff perspectives, London: The Howard League
Prison Reform Trust: Bromley briefings fact file Autumn 2017

Forensic Health Care

Joint Commissioning Panel for Mental Health (2013) Guidance for commissioners of forensic mental health services, London: JCPMH
NHS Scotland: Forensic mental health services managed care network
Northern Ireland Assembly (2011) Prisoners and mental health, Belfast: Northern Ireland Assembly
NHS Evidence guidance search: Forensic nursing
  • Please check that guidance is applicable for your country.
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Royal College of Psychiatrists Quality Network for Forensic Mental Health Services (2015) See think act. Your guide to relational security (2nd edition), London: RCP.
We would like to thank the RCN Nursing in Justice and Forensic Health Care member community for their input into the development of this subject guide.

Nursing in Justice

Betts N (2015) Equal access, equal care: guidance for prison healthcare staff treating patients with learning disabilities, London: NHS England.
Bailey, S. (2017) Forensic child and adolescent mental health: meeting the needs of young offenders. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press Bailey, S. (2017) Forensic child and adolescent mental health: meeting the needs of young offenders, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
Gates B (2015) Learning disability nursing at a glance, Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell. Gates B (2015) Learning disability nursing at a glance, Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell.
Norman A (2014) Nursing in criminal justice services, Keswick: M and K Publishing. Norman A (2014) Nursing in criminal justice services, Keswick: M and K Publishing.
Prisons and Probation Ombudsman for England and Wales (2013) Learning from PPO investigations: end of life care, London: Prison and Probation Ombudsman.
Pycroft A and Clift S (2013) Risk and rehabilitation: management and treatment of substance misuse and mental health problems in the criminal justice system, Bristol: Policy Press. Pycroft A and Clift S (2013) Risk and rehabilitation: management and treatment of substance misuse and mental health problems in the criminal justice system, Bristol: Policy Press.
Rose J (2014) Working with young people in secure accommodation: from chaos to culture, Hove: Routledge
Royal College of Nursing (2014) Nursing in the criminal justice system (DVD), London: Royal College of Nursing.
Walker, T. (2016) Preventing self-injury and suicide in women

Walker, T. (2016) Preventing self-injury and suicide in women's prisons, Hook: Waterside Press

Forensic Health books

Hammer R M, Moynihan, B and Pagliaro E M (2012) Forensic nursing: a handbook for practice, Burlington MA: Jones and Bartlett Learning. Hammer R M, Moynihan, B and Pagliaro E M (2012) Forensic nursing: a handbook for practice, Burlington MA: Jones and Bartlett Learning.
Pritchard J (2013) Good practice in promoting recovery and healing for abused adults, London: Jessica Kingsley. Pritchard J (2013) Good practice in promoting recovery and healing for abused adults, London: Jessica Kingsley.
Spooner M (2015) Working with people in secure forensic mental health settings: a care quality guide for support workers and staff, Hove: Pavilion Publishing and Media Ltd.
Drennan G and Alred D (2012) Secure recovery: approaches to recovery in forensic mental health settings, Abingdon: Routledge. Drennan G and Alred D (2012) Secure recovery: approaches to recovery in forensic mental health settings, Abingdon: Routledge.
Gunn J and Taylor P J (2014) Forensic psychiatry: clinical, legal and ethical issues, Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press. Gunn J and Taylor P J (2014) Forensic psychiatry: clinical, legal and ethical issues, Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.
Gillam T (2014) Reflections on community psychiatric nursing, London: Routledge. Gillam T (2014) Reflections on community psychiatric nursing, London: Routledge.
Pollock P (2015) Cognitive analytic therapy for offenders: a new approach to forensic psychotherapy, London: Routledge.
Rogers A, Harvey J and Law H (2015) Young people in forensic mental health settings: psychological thinking and practice, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. Rogers A, Harvey J and Law H (2015) Young people in forensic mental health settings: psychological thinking and practice, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Ashmore Z (2014) Forensic practice in the community, Florence: Taylor and Francis. Ashmore Z (2014) Forensic practice in the community, Florence: Taylor and Francis.

Book subject searches

Nursing in Justice journal articles

Forensic Health journal articles

Use these links to see details of journal articles on each topic.

Nursing in Justice journals

Journals of interest for Nursing in Justice. Use these links to see details of availability.


Forensic Health journals

Nursing History Collection

Institutions of Confinement Hospitals, Asylums and Prisons in Western Europe and North America, 1500-1950 Finzsch N and R Jutte (2003)  Institutions of confinement hospitals, asylums and prisons in Western Europe and North America, 1500-1950, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Special collections

Our Permanent Collection consists of nursing specific core items and rare items, and as such is viewable by appointment only. Here is a small selection of items from our collection.
NACRO (1975) Health visitors and the prevention of crime, London: Barry Rose.
Rowe J (1927) John Howard: prison reformer and philanthropist, London: The Epworth Press.
Smalley H (1902) Prison hospital nursing: being a manual of first aid and nursing for the prison hospital staff, London: HMSO.

Historical journals

Nursing Record/British Journal of Nursing (1888-1956)
  • Digitised journal available online.
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  • Article: (no author) (1922) Editorial: HM Prison Nursing Service, British Journal of Nursing, 25 Feb, p.111.
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  • Article: (no author) (1925) Lecture on prision nursing, British Journal of Nursing: Royal British Nurses Association supplement, November, p.234-235.
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  • Article: (no author) (1909) The Elizabeth Fry League, British Journal of Nursing, 18 December, p.495-496.
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Events and Exhibitions

RCN public lecture: nursing at the edge

This subject guide relates to:

RCN library staff

Lee Kattenhorn

Author of this guide

RCN Library and Archive Services

Page last updated - 30/08/2018