A descriptive evaluation of patients and prisoners assessed for dangerous and severe personality disorder
Jones, Lawrence F.
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The Dangerous and Severe Personality Disorder (DSPD) programme was introduced to assess, manage and treat severely personality disordered individuals who present a high risk of serious offending. We describe the clinical and risk characteristics of the first 241 patients admitted to the high-security DSPD service for assessment. Eighty-four percent of patients were regarded as meeting the DSPD criteria. Clinically, the DSPD patients demonstrated high levels of psychopathy, with 78% scoring 25 or more on the Psychopathy Checklist. The most commonly diagnosed personality disorders were antisocial, borderline and paranoid. The risk assessments indicated the DSPD patients exhibited a broad range of risk factors for future offending, suggesting that these patients had extensive treatment needs. The DSPD service had been relatively successful in retaining patients, with 82% of those admitted to treatment remaining within the high-security DSPD service. The clinical mix of the patients may have implications for treatment outcome, and future challenges for the service are highlighted. © 2010 Taylor & Francis.