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Does prison deliver for prisoners with learning disabilities?. Presenters: Mark Perks, Natasha Cock, Nick Pape 29 th October 2013. Statistics. 2% of general population have a learning disability (Mencap, 2013)

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Does prison deliver for prisoners with learning disabilities

Does prison deliver for prisoners with learning disabilities?

Presenters: Mark Perks, Natasha Cock, Nick Pape

29th October 2013


Statistics
Statistics disabilities?

  • 2% of general population have a learning disability (Mencap, 2013)

  • 20 – 30% of offenders have learning difficulties and disabilities (No one knows , Louks, 2007)

  • 25% of prisoners have an IQ of less than 80. (Mottram, 2007)

  • 35% of adult offenders have speaking or listening skills below those expected of a competent 11 year old. (Davies et al, 2004)


Definition of a learning disability
Definition of a learning disability disabilities?

  • The term learning disability is a convenient label that would indicate that an individual may need additional support.

  • What can be unhelpful:

    • Rigid thinking regarding IQ levels and mental ages

    • Thinking that restricts a person to just their learning disability

    • Stigma of new label (what does it mean!)


Case study gill s experience
Case study – Gill’s experience disabilities?

  • Set a 3 year tariff

  • Served well over twice his sentence


Case stu dy nick s experience
Case Stu disabilities?dy - Nick’s experience

  • Going through prison

  • What helped

  • What didn’t help

  • What could be done differently


Does prison deliver for prisoners with learning disabilities

“At first it was horrible. I couldn’t write to my family, I couldn’t fill the sheets in (visiting forms) so my family wouldn’t be able to visit and nobody explained it to me.”

(Prisoners voices)


Mencap s view
Mencap’s View family, I couldn’t fill the sheets in (visiting forms) so my family wouldn’t be able to visit and nobody explained it to me.”

  • Poor identification of learning disabilities in the criminal justice system

  • Learning disabilities are not identified early enough in the system and where this is identified it does not travel within the CJS

  • Learning disability screening questionnaires can be useful but with caution:

    • It creates a diagnostic tool for a non-clinical setting,

    • It can create stigma,

    • It is not clear how follow up then happens with prisoners


Does prison deliver for prisoners with learning disabilities

Mencap’s family, I couldn’t fill the sheets in (visiting forms) so my family wouldn’t be able to visit and nobody explained it to me.” View

  • Regular and specific learning disability awareness training should be provided for all prison staff

  • Training should include the wider issue of communication difficulties

  • Providing accessible communication is very important

  • There are significant health inequalities for prisoners with a learning disability that need to be addressed

  • Transitions of prisoners are often seen as transfersand the correct support is not in place


Raising your game
Raising Your Game family, I couldn’t fill the sheets in (visiting forms) so my family wouldn’t be able to visit and nobody explained it to me.”

  • Pilot project Mencap, ICAN and Nacro funded by the Big Lottery

  • Working with 14 – 25 year olds at risk of offending

  • Working in 6 regions across England

  • YOTs, YOIs, probation trusts, police, courts and educational settings.


Communication issues
Communication issues family, I couldn’t fill the sheets in (visiting forms) so my family wouldn’t be able to visit and nobody explained it to me.”

  • Safe answers

  • Reluctance to offer criticism

  • Level of language

  • Times and dates


Questions for the future
Questions for the future family, I couldn’t fill the sheets in (visiting forms) so my family wouldn’t be able to visit and nobody explained it to me.”

  • How are staff being trained on learning disabilities and communication difficulties?

  • If a diagnostic tool is used, how will prisoners be supported if they find our they have a learning disability?

  • Are there varied and interesting educational courses accessible below a an IQ level of 80?

  • How accessible is all prison communication, including verbal and written?


Does prison deliver for prisoners with learning disabilities

Questions for the family, I couldn’t fill the sheets in (visiting forms) so my family wouldn’t be able to visit and nobody explained it to me.”future

  • How can transitions to life outside be improved for prisoners with a learning disability?

  • What is the cultural view of disabilities within the prison?

  • How to ensure the individual as a whole and their needs are understood?


One last thing on communication
One last thing on communication family, I couldn’t fill the sheets in (visiting forms) so my family wouldn’t be able to visit and nobody explained it to me.”

If you get it right for someone with learning disability it will be right for everybody!


Any questions
Any Questions? family, I couldn’t fill the sheets in (visiting forms) so my family wouldn’t be able to visit and nobody explained it to me.”