The rehabilitation of personality disordered offenders: a Foucauldian analsis

McRae, Leon (2011) The rehabilitation of personality disordered offenders: a Foucauldian analsis. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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This empirical thesis explores the way in which the lives of offenders with personality disorder are governed in society. It is a socio-legal examination of decision-making under section 47 of the Mental Health Act 1983, which sanctions the transfer of offenders with mental disorders from prison to secure psychiatric hospitals for the ostensible purpose of providing treatment. This study elucidates the relational and extra-personal factors underlying admission decisions to a specific medium secure psychiatric hospital, and evaluates the rehabilitative effects of subsequent treatment on those clients, in light of the widely held belief that the client group are largely unresponsive to treatment.

Previous research looking at admission decision-making to medium secure units has answered similar questions by considering the values, assumptions and contextual pressures shaping psychiatrists’ decision-frames. It is argued that this working method adumbrates our understanding of admission decision-making. Whilst it is undeniable that the psychiatrist occupies a privileged position in the care and control of the mentally disordered (offender), this study uses Michel Foucault’s analysis of power relations to explore the possibility that all individuals – including offenders – may direct the conduct of others through the implementation of strategy. This study, therefore, posits that the accounts of professionals other than psychiatrists, who also make up the multidisciplinary team, and clients themselves, are equally important to our understanding of admission decision-making under s.47 of the 1983 Act. It is submitted that this will also provide for a richer account of the therapeutic effects of treatment on the client group.

In terms of structure, Part I of the study discusses what is meant by the governance of personality disordered offenders. It contextualises the research agenda by reference to the legal and philosophical salients. Part II of the study delivers, discusses and critiques empirical findings, before offering tentative conclusions.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Bartlett, Peter
Keywords: rehabilitation, personality disorder, mental health act 1983, mentally ill offenders
Subjects: H Social sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Social Sciences, Law and Education > School of Law
Item ID: 11967
Depositing User: EP, Services
Date Deposited: 04 Oct 2011 07:29
Last Modified: 08 Oct 2019 12:56

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