some default text...
Select Committee on Home Affairs Third Special Report


APPENDIX

SESSION 1999-2000

FIRST REPORT (HC 42): MANAGING DANGEROUS PEOPLE WITH SEVERE PERSONALITY DISORDER

Published 14 March 2000. Government response (published as HC 505) received 12 May 2000

INTRODUCTION

  1.  The Government's response to the Committee's report on managing dangerous people with severe personality disorder was published on 12 May 2000. There have been a number of significant developments since the publication of the Government's response.

  2.  In particular, the assessment process and battery developed during the consultation period is now being piloted in a refurbished assessment centre at HMP Whitemoor. Ministers have announced that the first pilot of the assessment process in the NHS will be at Rampton Hospital. Following the recent Spending Review, substantial resources have now been allocated for a period of service development and projects both to continue piloting the assessment process, and begin piloting therapeutic interventions across the Prison Service. The Government's formal response to the consultation exercise will be announced when Parliament returns in the Autumn and the detail of its proposals will be set out in a White Paper to be published before Christmas.

  3.  In addition, joint programme management procedures across the Home Office, Prison Service and Department of Health have been put in place to manage the inter-related set of projects needed to deliver the Government's objectives. The objectives of the programme are:

    —  to protect the public—by detaining those who are dangerous and SPD until they are safe to be released; and

    —  to provide effective treatment and management interventions for those who are dangerous and SPD which tackle their personality disorder, thereby reduce the risk they pose to others, and improve their own quality of life.

PROGRESS MADE ON THE COMMITTEE'S RECOMMENDATIONS

  4.  We conclude that substantial initial expenditure will be needed for the future management of dangerous people with severe personality disorder, irrespective of what other changes are made in the law affecting them or the way the facilities are organised. This is a cost which, in the interests of public safety, we believe to be justified.

Update

  5.  The Government's response to this recommendation welcomed the Committee's recognition that the proposals for managing dangerous people with severe personality disorder are necessary in the interests of public safety. Paul Boateng announced on 22 September, the allocation of £70 million from the Spending Review for a three year programme of pilot projects to assess and treat dangerous people with severe personality disorder. This money will fund a series of projects in the Prison High Security Estate as part of the joint Home Office, Prison Service and Department of Health programme. The Department of Health will shortly be announcing resources for similar pilots in the NHS High Security Estate. The first pilot project at HMP Whitemoor has now opened and the first NHS pilot project will begin shortly at Rampton Hospital.

  6.  We recommend that the Home Office should publish the cost benefit analysis underlying its consideration of the options proposed, including the implications of adopting a TBS-type arrangement in the UK.

Update

  7.  The Government intends to publish its formal response to the consultation exercise to Parliament in the Autumn. Details of the supporting material which has assisted Ministers in their consideration of the options will be made available to Parliament in a summary of the responses received to the consultation paper.

  8.  We recommend that the Home Office, The Department of Health and the Department for Education and Employment should examine the costs and benefits of identifying in early adolescence individuals who may develop a severe personality disorder and become dangerous. It may well be that intervention before the personality disorder becomes settled in the late teenage years would have long-term benefits both for the individual and for public protection.

Update

  9.  The scoping review of the literature concerning interventions aimed at adolescents at risk of developing antisocial personality disorder in adulthood, is due to be published shortly. The Committee's recommendation will be considered further in light of the outcome of this literature review.

  10.  We conclude that among the safeguards which ought to be introduced is a regular opportunity for Parliament to review the operation of any legislation to implement these proposals.

  11.  We recommend that any legislation should be subject to annual report to Parliament by a Commissioner and annual renewal of the legislation by means of an order subject to the affirmative procedure in each House.

Update

  12.  The Government has said that it recognises the benefits of an annual report to Parliament although it does not accept that new legislation should be subject to annual review. The Government's proposals for managing dangerous people with severe personality disorder are being finalised and will be set out in a White Paper to be published before Christmas. Further consideration will then be given to the Committee's recommendation that the legislation should be subject to annual report.

  13.  We welcome the attention the Home Office is paying to bringing victims of crime closer to the heart of the criminal justice system. We endorse the suggestion that victims or their next of kin should be able to make statements about the effect a crime has had on them and for such a statement to be attached to the case papers. We also believe that the arrangements for informing and consulting victims' families under the Victim's Charter should apply to individuals detained under the Mental Health Act 1983 where appropriate.

Update

  14.  The Government intends to publish a summary of the analysis of responses to the Green Paper on reform of the Mental Health Act 1983 to Parliament in the Autumn, and will set out the detail of its proposals, including whether arrangements under the Victim's Charter should be extended to cover those restricted patients who have committed serious violent or sexual offences, in a White Paper, to be published before Christmas.

  15.  We recommend that the proposals should be applied to individuals only when an assessment predicts it is almost certain that they will commit a very serious criminal offence.

Update

  16.  The first pilot project of the assessment process is underway at HMP Whitemoor. A key aspect of the assessment process is to identify the link between an individual's personality disorder and the level of risk they pose to others. The reliability of the process will be evaluated and potential Contractors have been invited to tender to provide research services to evaluate the assessment battery and process at HMP Whitemoor and Rampton Hospital. The invitation to tender has prompted expressions of interest from a number of institutions, from a range of academic disciplines.

  17.  We recommend that continued detention should be subject to regular review by a judicial body at stated intervals—on the basis of multi-disciplinary assessment and subject to independent medical opinion.

Update

  18.  Detailed procedures for the regular independent review of detention will be included in the Government's White Paper.

  19.  On balance we recommend that a separate service as set out in option B is most likely to protect the public, meet the needs of the individuals concerned and satisfy the requirements of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Update

  20.  The Government announced how it intended to proceed with these proposals on 24 October. The Government recognises the views of the Select Committee and many respondents to the consultation exercise who argued that a new service (option B) was the best way to protect the public and meet the needs of the individuals concerned. However, the Government has decided that a period of piloting and service development is necessary before taking final decisions about how best to organise new services. The Government will use this period to develop capacity and specialist provision in existing services and, as soon as Parliamentary time permits, to introduce new powers needed under either option for the detention of this group.

  21.  We recommend that new powers to detain dangerous people with a severe personality disorder should be accompanied by the most stringent safeguards in order to satisfy the requirements of the European Convention on Human Rights, as well as the liberties traditionally protected by Parliament.

Update

  22.  The proposals in the Government's White Paper will be compatible with the European Convention on Human Rights and the Human Rights Act.


 
previous page contents next page

House of Commons home page Parliament home page House of Lords home page search page enquiries index

© Parliamentary copyright 2001
Prepared 26 February 2001