Prisoners with personality problems and even psychopaths are responding positively to a new therapy, a study being carried out in eight psychiatrict prison units shows.
Schema therapy integrates elements of cognitive therapy, behaviour therapy and object relations. This unified, systematic approach creates an intensive therapeutic relationship between patient and doctor.
The study by Maastricht university is observing the treatment of around 100 psychiatric prisoners with a variety of mental health problems. So far, 30 of them have completed their treatment.
Results show they are much less likely to reoffend following schema therapy and they have been let out on probation 130 days earlier than is normally the case.
By 2015, all the men will be out on probation. Each of them will be kept under observation for three years. The researchers will keep an eye on reoffending and on any changes in their personality problems.
The study follows years of complaints about psychiatric prisoners on probation committing serious crimes.