ABSTRACT

We saw in the previous chapter the rather slow emergence of services for the mentally disordered offender with the rise of the large asylum in the age of the Great Confinement. Littlee changed for over a hundred years until the evolution of the medium secure unit concept. However, the medium secure units themselves were slow to develop as capital funding made available was spent elsewhere. Forensic services during the sixties and early seventies were, as yet, of low priority and relatively unpopular both within the professional domain as well as the public one. However, through the eighties and nineties there has been an 'explosion' of forensic services which has taken on an impetus and drive that is staggering. Not only are there services being built physically as in the construction of secure units and clinics but also in terms of a wave of medicalised initiatives that embraces ever-wider notions of disorder. Moreover there is an increasing drive for the services to penetrate further into the criminal justice system as it infiltrates the prisons, the courts, and the police stations, and an increasing number of professions and professional areas are claiming some expertise in the area of forensic. In fact, for those working in the related fields of mentally disordered offenders the word 'forensic' has become so popular that to prefix one's job title with the word is now considered normal practice, albeit often a litde asinine. This growth in popularity needs further elucidation.