Defining and assessing vulnerability within law enforcement and public health organisations: a scoping review

Iniobong Enang, Jennifer Murray, Nadine Dougall, Andrew Wooff, Inga Heyman, Elizabeth Aston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)
91 Downloads (Pure)


Historically, police departments focused solely on criminal justice issues. Recently, there has been a dynamic shift in focus, with Law Enforcement professional groups assuming more responsibility for tackling mental health and distress-related issues (that may arise because of mental health related problems and learning disabilities) alongside Public Health departments. While Law Enforcement has become a ‘last line of support’ and an increasing partner in mental health support, there is partnership working between law enforcement, psychology, and health professions in training and mental health service delivery. The term vulnerability is frequently used across Law Enforcement and Public Health (LEPH) to identify those in need of these services. Effective vulnerability assessment is therefore expected to prevent unintentional harmful health and criminal justice consequences and manage the negative impact of such in cases where prevention is not possible. This scoping review aimed to identify how vulnerability is defined and assessed across LEPH organisations.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2
Number of pages13
JournalHealth & Justice
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2019
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.


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