What Next?

If you have identified a case who you think may suffer with personality disorder, the issue of when to request further specialist support requires a degree of professional judgment. Although by far the majority of cases are undiagnosed, the prevalence of personality disorder among offender groups is very high. It is likely that 30-50% of your caseload may meet the criteria for one or more personality disorders. Many of these individuals will be primarily antisocial, may be largely unremarkable and may not require specialist intervention or support. DO NOT worry too much about a formal diagnosis.

When trying to decide when to seek further support, the following suggestions may be of assistance.

When to consider requesting specialist support

Ask yourself…

  1. Do I have a good enough understanding of the individual’s personality and offending?
  2. Do I feel another agency could make a reasonable contribution to the management of this case?

This is more likely to be the case when…

  • You are uncertain about the risk assessment
  • The offending is odd or unusual
  • The offender is highly distressed or emotionally volatile
  • There is something odd or unusual about the offender
  • The offender is already well known to other agencies who have expertise in this area.

Read on to subsequent chapters to give you ideas about sentence planning and risk management.