The OPD Pathway for Women: a hopeful new development?

Rachel Cohen*, Julie Trebilcock, Tim Weaver, Paul A Moran

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
176 Downloads (Pure)


The Offender Personality Disorder (OPD) pathway was jointly commissioned by Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) and NHS England in 2011. Representing one of the most significant recent developments in mental health and criminal justice, the pathway provides psychologically-informed and relationally-focused treatment for high risk offenders with personality disorder. Acknowledging the gender differences that exist in terms of the psychosocial and criminogenic needs of offenders, the OPD pathway provides female-specific services, delivering “wraparound” support for eligible women throughout their sentences, in custody and in the community. The OPD pathway for women is seeking to make a valuable contribution to managing this population of female offenders who are among the most vulnerable individuals in the criminal justice system, but who pose a high risk to the public. The pathway constitutes an innovative development in terms of delivering improved outcomes for this challenging and complex offender group, but knowledge about its impact will require close on-going evaluation.
Original languageEnglish
Article number4
Pages (from-to)257-260
Number of pages4
JournalCriminal Behaviour and Mental Health
Issue number5-6
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jan 2020


  • Offender Personality Disorder pathway
  • female offenders
  • risk and reoffending
  • offender management
  • psychological treatment


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