The Offender Personality Disorder Pathway: Expansion in the Face of Failure?

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In 2011, the current government announced plans to overhaul the Dangerous and Severe Personality Disorder (DSPD) programme, renaming it the Offender Personality Disorder Pathway (OPDP). This article questions the government's dedication to continuing, and potentially expanding, a costly and controversial initiative in the face of its apparent failure to treat the offenders in its care effectively and facilitate their progress through the prison system. It suggests that these unfulfilled promises are ancillary to another aim: preventively detaining troublesome prisoners. The plans are of particular concern for prisoners on indeterminate sentences for public protection (IPP), whose release may be further impeded.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)173–192
JournalHoward Journal of Criminal Justice
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • personality disorder
  • human rights
  • criminal justice
  • Mental Health
  • sentencing

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