Research on the mental health of police detainees is scarce. This study aimed to identify the proportion of persons detained by the Police Service Amsterdam-Amstelland who screened positive for a serious mental condition.
A survey conducted in 2009 among 264 randomly selected detainees assessed demographic characteristics and general medical and mental health and included use of the Brief Jail Mental Health Screen (BJMHS) (N=248).
Almost 40% of survey respondents screened positive on the BJMHS, indicating a need for further evaluation. This rate was lower than the rate reported for police detainees in Australia but substantially higher than the rates reported for persons incarcerated in U.S. jails.
More systematic research is needed to examine reasons for reports of different rates of mental illness among detainees in different countries.