Department of Health publish their response to the offender personality disorder consultation

shutterstock_72485047 man behind bars in prison

The Department of Health have published their proposed next steps to develop services for offenders with severe personality disorders in the NHS and Criminal Justice System.

This follows a consultation that ran from Feb-May this year.

In short, this work seeks to ensure that:

  • the personality disordered offender population is a shared responsibility of the National Offender Management Service (NOMS) and the National Health Service (NHS)
  • planning and delivery is based on a whole systems approach across the criminal justice system and the NHS recognising the various stages of an offender’s journey, from conviction, sentence, and community based supervision and resettlement
  • offenders with personality disorder who present a high risk of serious harm to others are primarily managed through the criminal justice system with the lead role held by offender managers
  • their treatment and management is psychologically informed and led by psychologically trained staff; that it focuses on relationships and the social context in which people live
  • related Department of Education and Department of Health programmes for young people and families will continue to be joined up with the offender personality disorder pathway to contribute to prevention and breaking the cycle of intergenerational crime
  • in developing services account is taken of the experiences and perceptions of offenders and staff at the different stages of the pathway
  • the pathway will be evaluated focusing on risk of serious re-offending, health improvement and economic benefit.

The aim is to commission new services that will have:

  • improved targeting of resources for screening and early identification
  • a focus on assessment, case formulation and sentence planning
  • access to the high security prison personality disorder treatment services
  • access to secure psychiatric hospitals for offenders with co-morbid severe mental health problems where the requirements of the Mental Health Act are met and the NHS pathway is the most appropriate for the individual
  • personality disorder treatment units in Category B and C prisons for men and closed prisons for women
  • access to existing accredited offending behaviour programmes, including democratic therapeutic communities in prisons
  • access to psychologically informed planned environments (PIPEs) in prisons and approved premises, which will provide offenders with progression support following a period of treatment or period in custody
  • increased support for offender managers working in the community using established MAPPA (Multi Agency Public Protection Agreement) procedures.

Response to the Offender Personality Disorder Consultation (PDF). Department of Health, 21 Oct 2011.

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Andre Tomlin

André Tomlin is an Information Scientist with 20 years experience working in evidence-based healthcare. He's worked in the NHS, for Oxford University and since 2002 as Managing Director of Minervation Ltd, a consultancy company who do clever digital stuff for charities, universities and the public sector. Most recently André has been the driving force behind the Mental Elf and the National Elf Service; an innovative digital platform that helps professionals keep up to date with simple, clear and engaging summaries of evidence-based research. André is a Trustee at the Centre for Mental Health and an Honorary Research Fellow at University College London Division of Psychiatry. He lives in Bristol, surrounded by dogs, elflings and lots of woodland!

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