The needs of women with personality disorder are going unnoticed in prisons, despite them making up a quarter of female inmates, the Centre for Mental Health said today in a report.
The study, Under the Radar, found imprisonment can exacerbate mental health problems for women with a diagnosis of borderline personality disorder (BPD), who are often left distressed by prison procedures.
The paper called for better diversion from custodial sentences for women with a personality disorder and increased training for prison staff.
It added that women prisoners should have access to psychological therapies to help them cope with their condition and for this treatment to be continued after release.
BPD is a condition characterised by instability in moods, relationships, self-image and behaviour.
People suffering from this disorder often struggle with a mixture of emotions and engage in risky, impulsive behaviours. They frequently self-harm to reduce stress.
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