Criminal Justice

Personality disorder is a recognised mental disorder, but an underdeveloped area of mental health. It affects many people in society, most of whom do not commit offences.

For some, however, it significantly contributes to offending and risk related behaviours. Approximately two-thirds of prisoners meet the criteria for at least one type of personality disorder (Stewart, 2008; Singleton, 1998).

The Offender Personality Disorder Strategy

Between February 2011 and May 2011, the Department of Health and Ministry of Justice consulted on an implementation plan for a new approach to working with offenders who have severe personality disorders. In October 2011 the Departments published their response to the consultation.

Therapeutic communities

Therapeutic community is a term applied to a participative, group-based approach to long-term mental illness, personality disorders and drug addiction and has gained some reputation for success in rehabilitation and patient satisfaction in Britain and abroad.


Research and evaluation has been at the centre of the initiative since its outset.

A substantial programme of research is underway and further research is planned for future years.

Women’s services

Women’s services are designed to deliver specialist healthcare interventions within a female prison setting and provide an expansion to the already established male programme.

Useful information

Access useful information on admission criteria to the programme and the classification of personality disorders.

An essential part of the programme’s service development strategy is to increase the evidence base.


Our publications section offers links to useful articles and research papers.


The links section provides information about organisations of relevance to personality disorder services, treatment and support.

Contact Us

Contact the programme to find out more.