For criminal justice practitioners, there is limited practical guidance and training to help them recognise the indicators of mental disorder initially and then to understand the causative links between the disorder and the individual's offending behaviour. Practitioners who have developed knowledge and expertise in working with offenders as a generic group frequently do not have the professional expertise to intervene appropriately at the level of the mental disorder. Consequently, they will need to collaborate with others to ensure that both offending and mental health needs (which may be closely linked) are attended to in order to ensure both reduction of risk (of reoffending and harm to others) and relief of symptoms. This chapter focuses on mentally disordered offenders who form a significant group within the offender population. It offers information to help practitioners be confident in their knowledge base and techniques for working across professional boundaries. It also discusses the Care Programme Approach, anti-social personality disorders, and dual diagnosis or co-morbidity. Finally, the chapter offers practical guidance for dealing with the issue of suicide and self harm.
Keywords: Care Programme Approach, anti-social personality disorders, dual diagnosis, co-morbidity, suicide, self harm, criminal justice, mental disorder, mentally disordered offenders, offending behaviour
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