Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in the Prison System

Susan Young, Kelly Cocallis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Purpose of Review

To examine recent advances in the understanding of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) among the prison population.
Recent Findings

Efforts have been made to develop useful tools for assessing ADHD among prisoners. Prisoners with ADHD demonstrate incremental vulnerability due to comorbid psychiatric disorders, neurodevelopmental disorders and traumatic brain injury. Compared with prisoners without ADHD, prisoners with ADHD become involved in the criminal justice system at a younger age and have higher rates of recidivism in adulthood. Recent studies demonstrate the effectiveness of extended release stimulant medication and psychological interventions. Early identification and treatment of prisoners with ADHD have the potential to demonstrate health economic benefits.

Our understanding of ADHD among prisoners continues to develop. However, further research is needed, particularly among neglected groups such as females. Much more attention is needed by the prison service to engender better outcomes for this at-risk population.
Original languageEnglish
Article number41
JournalCurrent Psychiatry Reports
Issue number6
Early online date29 Apr 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2019


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