Introduction Part 3

This charity is concerned with the academic aspects of forensic psychiatry which are endangered by a lack of government and university support. No specialty of medicine can flourish without conducting fundamental research and providing education to the next generation of potential specialists. As the timeline which follows shows prior to WW2, the first attempts at forming an evidence-base in offending in general, and the role of mental disorder, were made. This continued throughout the 20th Century, and a number of academic departments and posts were  created and developed at Universities and within Special (high security) Hospitals.

Policy development also progressed, with governmental enquiries such as the Emery, Glancy and Butler reports. The birth of modern forensic psychiatry, with the establishment of the Regional Secure Unit (later “medium secure”) network for patients to “step-down” from the Special Hospitals to more local areas, occurred. This was arguably the most important development of recent years, and the intention was to have regional research units in England funded in conjunction with these. The development of Community Forensic Services followed but the early progress in academic forensic psychiatry has stalled.

We hope this timeline will give you an idea of the importance of the specialty and you may share with us the notion that its research needs to be developed to assist with crime prevention.

John Gunn.