Practitioner guide: working with people in the criminal justice system showing personality difficulties

A practical guide for all staff who come into contact with offenders who might have personality difficulties.



The third edition of our Practitioner Guide has been developed in light of new evidence including a survey of practitioner guide users about what is most useful. In this guide, practical advice is given on how to work with people whose behaviour can be extremely challenging; the consequences most apparent from the harm often caused to themselves and others, and the impact on staff and their wellbeing.

Following the public consultation on the joint HMPPS and NHS OPD pathway in 2011 many services are well established and new ones are being commissioned to further develop the pathway. This continues to be a time of innovation as we understand more about developmental pathways, the role of neurobiology, the interaction between the environment or system, and the expressions of complex behaviour.

The OPD pathway is a network of jointly delivered services built on the quality of relationships and designed to instil trust and hope in service users and staff. This guide supports learning by providing pragmatic approaches for any practitioner. Key changes include revisions to the chapter on consultation and formulation, a chapter on strategies for the improved management of individuals, new guidance on staff wellbeing, and the special considerations related to working with women, young adults, people with neurodevelopment difficulties, and ethnic and cultural differences.

Published 22 September 2015
Last updated 3 March 2020 + show all updates
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