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People with learning disabilities in the criminal justice system

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Title: People with learning disabilities in the criminal justice system


1
People with learning disabilities in the criminal
justice system
  • Chloë Trew, Policy and Research Assistant Manager
    Scottish Consortium for Learning Disability

2
About SCLD
SCLD was set up in 2001, following a
recommendation of The same as you?
The same as you? was the Scottish Governments
policy about people with learning disabilities
and family carers.
The keys to life is the new learning disability
strategy (as of yesterday!)
3
Our mission
Our mission is to work in partnership with people
with learning disabilities of all ages and family
carers to challenge discrimination and to develop
and share good practice.
4
Our goal
Our goal is an inclusive Scotland where everyone
is valued and respected for who they are and what
they contribute as equal citizens.
5
SCLDs strategic priorities
  • Promote equality for people with learning
    disabilities, people on the autism spectrum and
    their families through influencing and evaluating
    policy and practice at a national and local level.
  • Promote policies and practices to enable and
    empower people with learning disabilities and
    people on the autism spectrum.
  • Help to build more inclusive communities by
    improving access to information and support.

6
Do you know what is going to happen when you
leave prison?
  • I am trying to get out, I dont know what to
    do, I want to get a flat or somewhere where it
    helps learning difficult sic people. I need to
    see a social worker and ask her what route to go.
    A place for learning difficult people sic I
    think. I could share with someone. I have been
    at the YMCA. Id like my own room, kitchen,
    toilets a shared sitting room, like I was when
    I was in the homes and I preferred it. When I
    get out, I am going to go cruising for a few
    birds with my pal, all suited and bootedIts
    hard to do other things like counting, I have
    not got a clue about paying bills or housework.
    Im going to need some kind of help. Im going to
    struggle.
  • Interview evidence from The same as you?
    Evaluation

7
Background
The same as you?
Criminal Justice SAY Implementation Sub Group
chaired by People First Scotland
  • Defining the problem(s)
  • Perpetrators with learning disabilities may be
    being disadvantaged in their interactions with
    the different elements of the criminal justice
    system
  • Differences in practice across different areas
  • How accessible and appropriate are criminal
    justice policies and practice for perpetrators
    with learning disabilities?

8
Context
  • The same as you? evaluation
  • The keys to life
  • Commission on Women Offenders
  • Carloway Report
  • Changes to the Criminal Justice system more
    broadly move away from prison to diversion
    alternative disposals
  • SDS
  • Health and social care integration

9
Research aims
To map a normative journey of people with
learning disabilities through the criminal
justice system
  • To compare the experiences of people with
    learning disabilities with that journey and
    identify points

To identify if and how practices vary across
different geographical areas
10
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11
Methodology
Literature review
  • Key individual interviews
  • Potential narrowing of focus
  • Different methodological approaches for
    different groups of professionals

Building the map and testing it out
12
Methodology (continued)
  • Inclusive interviews with people with learning
    disabilities to find out about their experiences
  • Analysis and reporting

13
Limitations
  • A broader view rather than a more in-depth one
  • A normative journey may be difficult to
    construct given the many different variables to
    take into account
  • People with learning disabilities may struggle to
    recall, articulate or describe what happened to
    them at particular points or to identify who
    individual actors are or their role
  • How long ago were people involved in the system?

14
The journey so far....
  • Stage 1 Getting into trouble/risky behaviours
  • Stage 2 Risky behaviours resolved or risky
    behaviours develop into criminal activity
  • Stage 3 Police involvement
  • Stage 4 Police resolve issue or a decision to
    refer the case to COPFS
  • Stage 5 COPFS
  • Stage 6 Trial
  • Stage 7 Release or sentencing
  • Stage 8 Serving sentence
  • Stage 9 Parole and release
  • Stage 10 Throughcare

15
Initial thoughts on barriers
  • Accessibility and appropriateness
  • Information sharing
  • Recognition of learning disability by different
    agencies
  • Access to appropriate support at all ages
  • Confusion between learning disability and
    learning difficulty/literacy and numeracy issues
  • Co-morbid mental health and learning disability

16
Questions, comments and feedback
  • Chloë Trew
  • Policy and Research Assistant Manager
  • Scottish Consortium for Learning Disability
  • chloe.t_at_scld.co.uk
  • 0141 559 5720
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