Assessment > Psychiatric Interview > Forensic History

Forensic & Social  History

Forensic History


  • Students often find this difficult to ask, a good method of to direct it towards why they are seeing you:

- “So have you had any other interactions with the police before today?”

- “So when you had these problems with X, were the police involved?”

- “Did you ever get into trouble with the police when you were drinking/using X?”

- More generally, “I ask this question to everyone I meet, have you ever had any interactions with the police?”


  • In practice if there are concerns then this information is sourced from objective accounts e.g. probation, old notes, police records but can be difficult to obtain as this information is confidential and may need to be formally applied for.


  • This section should detail

   - Offences

   - Arrests

   - Cautions

   - Charges

   - Court appearances

   - Convictions

   - Sentences

   - Non-custodial e.g. fines, community service, probation

   - Custodial e.g. where served, parole etc.

   - Mental health act-sections 35,36,37,38,41, 47 and 48

   - Probation officer

Social History


  • Current accommodation - owner, private rent, housing association, council housing, hostel, staying with friends, living on the street; who do they live with

  • Finances - employed, benefits, entitlements to public funds, debt

  • Activities - daily activities, structure of average day

  • Social network - friends, family, sources of support

  • Other agencies involved in their care.