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Last Updated: Thursday, 6 May, 2004, 17:33 GMT 18:33 UK
Unit for dangerous inmates opens
A unit designed to house some of the country's most dangerous prisoners has been opened in County Durham.

Prisons and probation minister Paul Goggins opened the Dangerous and Severe Personality Disorder Unit at HMP Frankland, near Durham, on Thursday.

The programme is a joint scheme between the Prison Service, Department of Health and the Home Office.

The unit at Frankland will house up to 80 prisoners and is one of four pilot sites to be set up.

The programme aims to develop new mental health services for people who are considered dangerous as a result of a severe personality disorder.

Public protection

The joint aims are to ensure the public is protected from some of the most dangerous prisoners in society and provide effective treatment, reduce risks and help them work towards being integrated back into communities.

Mr Goggins said: "The DSPD unit at Frankland is part of a robust public protection initiative.

"Public protection is the central aim of the programme, but it will also help us work towards identifying effective interventions for this difficult and challenging group and increase our knowledge of what works in the treatment, care and management of personality disorder."

Other pilot sites are at HMP Whitemoor and Rampton and Broadmoor secure hospitals.

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