About our Project

Our research focuses on investigating the need for and to support the development of healthcare equivalence in police custody. Currently, there are no clear and explicit healthcare standards in police custody in contrast to other parts of the criminal justice system such as prison estates. This is particularly important due to the high rate of persons in police custody suites with mental health concerns, drug and/or alcohol abuse and the increasing rates of death in custody.

The healthcare of police detainees is increasingly important due to the high rate of detainees with mental health concerns of those detained in police custody spaces. Therefore the aim of the study is to develop knowledge about the healthcare practices undertaken by police custody staff in order to inform an equivalence standard and implement this standard in police custody.

Four Key Questions

There are four key questions to answer:

  • How do custody staff interact with detainees and how do these interactions impact detainees health and wellbeing. How does detainee's observable characteristics impact these observations?
  • How do police and healthcare staff interact with each other and what is needed to achieve optimal mulitagency working and deliver equivalence in healthcare?
  • What role does age and space of police custody play in the delivery of healthcare?
  • What health information about detainees is accessed, recorded, managed and shared in custody? How is this done and how is the information secured?

The primary outcome of this research will be a policy brief outlining what an equivalence standard in police custody would include and how it could be implemented. This may also include advice on interactions between detainees and staff, the forms of information that detainees receive and the ways in which they receive it.