From DSPD to OPDP – treatment or control?: a critical examination of the management of personality disordered offenders in England and Wales since 1999

Alden, Beverley (2015) From DSPD to OPDP – treatment or control?: a critical examination of the management of personality disordered offenders in England and Wales since 1999. MSc dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    Abstract

    This research critically examines the approach to managing dangerous offenders with severe personality disorders in England and Wales from 1999 to the present day. Specific consideration is given to whether management is motivated by treatment or in fact simply facilitates easier containment of dangerous offenders. The paper specifically considers the Dangerous and Severe Personality Disorder programme (DSPD), established in 1999, and the more recent introduction of the Offender Personality Disorder Pathway (OPDP) programme. A key tenet of each programme is a reduction in offending and the risk of serious harm to others. The success of these programmes is dependent on a robust, well evidenced, and inter-disciplinary understanding of the nature, causes, and effective treatment of personality disorder, and a proven chain of causation to high risk of harm offences.
    Findings: the aetiology of personality disorder is complex and there is little consensus on the cause or treatability of the disorder. On the introduction of the DSPD proposals very little was known about effective treatment options for personality disordered individuals. As a result it is unlikely that treatment for offenders, as a means of reducing risk and protecting the public, was the primary catalyst or immediate goal of the programme. However it may have been a longer term goal. When the OPDP was proposed, more was known about treatment interventions but at best findings could only be regarded as promising early indicators.
    The DSPD programme was part of a period of interventionist legislative reform, which placed a greater number of ever tighter restrictions on offenders who committed violent and/or sexual offences, in the name of public protection. The programme may have been the result of an ‘act now, think later’ approach where incarceration was applied whilst treatment was developed and tested over the longer term. It is therefore not unreasonable to conclude that both social control and treatment were relevant to the creation of the DSPD programme and the OPDP, but that the former was the more immediate and pressing priority.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > Institute of Criminal Justice Studies
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 22 Feb 2016 11:47
    Last Modified: 22 Feb 2016 11:47
    URI: http://eprints.port.ac.uk/id/eprint/19852

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