Training probation officers in case formulation for personality disordered offenders

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Brown, Susan ; Beeley, Chris ; Patel, Gita ; Völlm, Birgit (2016)

Background: The recent UK Strategy on Managing High Risk of Serious Harm Offenders with Severe Personality Disorder proposes a significant role for Offender Managers (OMs) completing case formulations on personality disordered (PD) offenders. However, there is very little evidence as to whether Offender Managers can be taught to carry out case formulation.\ud Aim: The primary aims of this study were to devise and implement a training programme to teach Offender Managers to carry out case formulations, and assess their subsequent ability to do so. A secondary aim was to assess whether the training led to changes in OMs’ attitudes towards working with PD offenders.\ud Method: A five day training programme was delivered to 20 Offender Managers, whose ability to carry out case formulation was assessed before and after the training using a 10 point quality checklist. Attitudes towards PD were also assessed before and after. Qualitative feedback relating to the training was used to provide further insight into the findings.\ud Results: Offender Managers showed a significant improvement in their ability to carry out case formulation following training with 7 out of the 10 quality domains on the quality checklist rated as at least ‘satisfactory’ post-training. Qualitative feedback highlighted reasons for some of the shortfalls in two of the three areas that did not show improvement. Improvements were shown in attitudes towards working with PD offenders in two out of three domains.\ud Conclusion: This study provides some evidence for Offender Managers’ ability to carry out case formulation following training, improvements in attitudes towards working with PD offenders and difficulties specific to this addition to their current role.
  • References (2)

    Baldwin V (2011): Yorkshire & the Humber KUF Evaluation Report. 2010-2011 Implementation. Nottingham: Institute of Mental Health.

    Brown S, Völlm BA (2013): Case formulation in personality disordered offenders: Views from the front line. Criminal Behaviour and Mental Health 23, 263-73 based on Hart et al. (2011) 2.62 2.29 2.26 2.56 2.21 2.38 3.94 2.24 2.00 2.26 3.03 2.58 2.83 3.08 2.94 2.86 3.92 2.67 2.44 2.86 2.50 2.00 2.00 2.50 2.00 2.50 4.00 2.00 2.00 2.00 3.00 2.75 3.00 3.00 3.00 3.00 4.00 2.75 2.75 3.00 24.76 29.22 24.50 30.75 0.04 0.06 <0.001 0.02 <0.001 <0.001 <0.001 0.58 0.13 <0.001

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