Surveillance, security and violence in a mental health ward: An ethnographic casestudy of an Australian purpose-built unit

C Due, K Connellan, Damien Riggs

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    6 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    This paper discusses the potential relationship between surveillance techniques, the enactment of security measures, and patient violence in mental health wards. The paper draws upon data from an ethnographic study conducted in a purpose-built mental health unit containing two wards (one locked and one open) in South Australia, and argues that acts of violence observed in the unit were typically preceded by an incident within the unit that was related to the implementation of security measures aimed at controlling non-compliant behaviours. The paper argues that if a relationship between security measures and violence does exist in mental health wards, then close attention must be paid to the ways in which forms of surveillance may arguably exacerbate, rather than prevent, the need for security measures.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)292-302
    Number of pages11
    JournalSurveillance and Society
    Volume10
    Issue number3/4
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2012

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