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: 22/07/2021

Key Resources

House of Commons Justice Committee (2021) Mental health in prison: fifth report of session 2021–22. London: House of Commons.
National Offender Management Service and NHS England (2015) Working with personality disordered offenders: a practitioner’s guide.
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.

Nursing in Justice

Betts N (2015) Equal access, equal care: guidance for prison healthcare staff treating patients with learning disabilities. London: NHS England.
Criminal Justice Joint Inspection (2021) Neurodiversity in the criminal justice system: A review of evidence. London: CJJI
HM Chief Inspector of Prisons for England and Wales (2020) The Annual report of HM Chief Inspector of prisons from 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2020. London: HMIP
Howard League for Penal Reform (2017) Preventing prison suicide: staff perspectives. London: The Howard League
Ministry of Justice (2016) Prison Safety and Reform. London: HMSO
NHS England and NHS Improvement (2021) Meeting the healthcare needs of adults with a learning disability and autistic adults in prison. London: NHS
Prison Reform Trust (2021) Bromley briefings: prison factfile winter 2021. London: Prison Reform Trust
The Royal College of General Practitioners (2019) Safer prescribing in prisons, guidance for clinicians. London: RCGP.

Forensic Health Care

CED Joint Working Group (2021) Conducted Energy Device (CED): at a glance guidance for ED Clinicians. London: The Faculty of Forensic and Legal Medicine.
Georgiou M, Oultram M and Haque D Q (eds.) (2019) Standards for forensic mental health services: low and medium secure care. 3rd edn. London: Royal College of Psychiatrists.
Joint Commissioning Panel for Mental Health (2013) Guidance for commissioners of forensic mental health services. London: JCPMH
NHS Evidence guidance search: Forensic nursing
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NHS Scotland: Forensic mental health services managed care network
Royal College of Psychiatrists (2018) Prison mental health in Northern Ireland (CR219). London: RCP.
Scottish Government: Forensic mental health
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

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.
Barr O (2019) Oxford handbook of learning and intellectual disability nursing 2nd ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press Barr O (2019) Oxford handbook of learning and intellectual disability nursing. 2nd edn. Oxford: Oxford University 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. 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. Rose J (2014) Working with young people in secure accommodation: from chaos to culture. Hove: Routledge
Walker, T. (2016) Preventing self-injury and suicide in women's prisons, Hook: Waterside Press Walker T (2016) Preventing self-injury and suicide in women's prisons. Hook: Waterside Press.
Norman A (2014) Nursing in criminal justice services, Keswick: M and K Publishing. Walsh E and Norman A (2014) Nursing in criminal justice services. Keswick: M and K Publishing.

Forensic Health books

Amar A and Sekula L K (2015) A practical guide to forensic nursing: incorporating forensic principles into nursing practice. Sigma Theta Tau International. Amar A and Sekula L K (2015) A practical guide to forensic nursing: incorporating forensic principles into nursing practice. Sigma Theta Tau International.
Ashmore Z (2014) Forensic practice in the community, Florence: Taylor and Francis. Ashmore Z (2014) Forensic practice in the community. Florence: Taylor and Francis.
Blumenthal S  Wood H and Williams A (2018) Assessing risk: a relational approach. Abingdon: Routledge. Blumenthal S,  Wood H and Williams A (2018) Assessing risk: a relational approach. Abingdon: Routledge. 
 Bratina M P (2017) Forensic mental health: framing integrated solutions . New York: Routledge. Bratina M P (2017) Forensic mental health: framing integrated solutions. New York: Routledge.
El-Genady E (2015) Forensic mental health nursing and criminal justice system. Saarbr├╝cken: Lap Lambert Academic Publishing. El-Genady E (2015) Forensic mental health nursing and criminal justice system. Saarbr├╝cken: Lap Lambert Academic Publishing.
Jackson A R W, Jackson J M, Mountain H and Brearley D (2016) Jackson and Jackson forensic science. 4th edn. Harlow: Pearson. Jackson A R W, Jackson J M, Mountain H and Brearley D (2016) Jackson and Jackson forensic science. 4th edn. Harlow: Pearson.
Pollock P (2015) Cognitive analytic therapy for offenders: a new approach to forensic psychotherapy. 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.
Scannell J M (2018) Fast facts about forensic nursing: what you need to know. New York: Springer Publishing. Scannell J M (2018) Fast facts about forensic nursing: what you need to know. New York: Springer Publishing.
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. 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.
Stark M M (2020) Clinical forensic medicine: a physician's guide. Cham: Springer. Stark M M (2020) Clinical forensic medicine: a physician's guide. Cham: Springer.

Book subject searches

Use these links to see details of books the RCN libraries hold on each topic.

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

Upcoming events relating to this subject guide

  • 25 Nov 2021 Online

    RCN Wales Domestic Abuse Conference: Tackling Difficult Conversations

    This conference will explore the perceptions of surviving domestic abuse and the domestic abuse cycle, discuss how healthcare staff can be supported if exposed to domestic abuse, and consider the impact of domestic abuse on children, the promotion of trauma informed approaches to practice and demonstrate an example of best practice in supporting families. You do not need to be based in Wales to join us for this event.  

Page last updated - 22/07/2021