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Women Offender Programs and Issues

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The 2002 Mental Health Strategy For Women Offenders

Jane Laishes
Mental Health, Health Services
2002

RTF

CONCLUSION

In 1997 when the Mental Health Strategy for Women Offenders was originally published, it was believed that a three-year time frame for full implementation of the continuum of care would be sufficient. However, despite some significant developments, such as the Intensive Intervention Strategy, there have been both fiscal limitations and difficulties in recruiting and retaining staff with the necessary expertise to work with women offenders (especially in the more remote locations). As a result the implementation period has been extended. In addition, it has also become apparent that implementation is an ongoing process of reviewing and refining existing programs and developing new programs as needs become apparent and opportunities arise. The challenge of meeting the mental health needs of women offenders continues to require constant innovation and evaluation as well as collaboration with our community partners and others.

It is hoped that the revised Strategy will provide a framework for the ongoing development of mental health services for women offenders. It is also hoped that it will give both the reader and those involved in the provision of women's mental health a sense of how much has been accomplished since the publication of the first Strategy.