The need to understand attitudes and beliefs towards the mentally ill has been recognised for some time (Royal Commission, 1957). More recently, it has been suggested that the way in which society thinks about the mentally ill could, to some degree, impact on the success of certain policies and procedures associated with the care and management of this minority, such as attempts to promote patient rehabilitation and social integration (Wolff et al, 1996a). Furthermore, several reports have suggested that not only is the practice of multi-agency cooperation desirable when caring for the mentally ill in general and the mentally ill offender in particular (Department of Health/Home Office, 1992), but that the success of such schemes must to some extent be based upon the existence of a common ideological approach towards such individuals (Department of Health/Home Office Circular, 66/90).