Social factors and forensic psychiatry in India : Current Opinion in Psychiatry

Secondary Logo

Journal Logo

Forensic psychiatry: Edited by Julio E. Arboleda-Flórez

Social factors and forensic psychiatry in India

Kallivayalil, Roy Abrahama; Trivedi, Jitendra Kumarb; Tripathi, Adarshb

Author Information
Current Opinion in Psychiatry 22(5):p 482-487, September 2009. | DOI: 10.1097/YCO.0b013e32832f56be


Purpose of review 

Forensic psychiatry is a psychiatric specialty yet to be recognized in many countries. This review evaluates the current status and practice of forensic psychiatry in India and the impact of social factors as they relate to this area. It evaluates existing mental health legislation, civil and criminal laws, the standing of teaching and training of concerned professionals and emphasizes the scarcity of care provisions for mentally ill prisoners.

Recent findings 

Mental health services in India have shown a tremendous improvement, especially during the last two decades. However there are some isolated reports of people with mental health disorders having been exposed to a wide range of human rights violations. Several reports identified gross inadequacies in the current mental health legislation and judicial apathy.


Forensic psychiatry in India at the dawn of the 21st century is practised in an environment of a bewildering mosaic of scarce resources, conflicting interests and apparent apathy of government, policy makers and legislators. Human rights and privileges to live with dignity of mentally ill prisoners have not been given adequate attention until now. This study also identifies pertinent issues for the future development of forensic psychiatry in India.

© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.

You can read the full text of this article if you:

Access through Ovid