The evolution of secure and forensic mental healthcare

Philip Sugarman, Geoffrey L. Dickens

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter identifies the need, globally, for secure mental health provision and presents an overview of the history and development of secure care. It charts its social evolution, from origins in the earliest psychiatric hospitals, to growth into the complex pattern of forensic and secure mental health service specialisation that exists in the most advanced societies today. A narrative shape is given to historical patterns of innovation, differentiation and decline in secure services, within an appreciative critique of the achievements so far in this important area. We offer a sociological as much as a mental health professional view, although the chapter is intended as a balance to the abundance of critical sociology of psychiatric hospitals, for example as ‘total institutions’.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of secure care
EditorsGeoffrey L. Dickens, Philip A. Sugarman, Marco M. Picchioni
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherRCPsych Publications
Number of pages14
ISBN (Print)9781909726369
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2015


Dive into the research topics of 'The evolution of secure and forensic mental healthcare'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this