I’ve been reading this report on prisons.
It’s interesting all of the way though – but particular segements that are of interest to people with an interest in disability include:
Youth justice screening tools often overlook the physical health problems and underestimate the rate of mental health problems of children who offend. They do not assess for learning disability, for speech, language and communication needs, or for conduct disorder.
Research by the Prison Reform Trust has found that there are a significant number of prisoners who, because they have a learning disability or difficulty, are excluded from aspects of the prison regime including offending behaviour programmes.
To avoid this being quite the copy-and-paste job – people should just read the whole of page 58 – it’s deeply astonishing… But I am going to highly the first statistic:
An estimate of 36% of 1,435 prisoners interviewed in the Surveying Prisoner Crime Reduction study were considered to have a disability when survey answers about disability and health, including mental health, were screened.
That’s an amazingly high number, and raises a bunch of questions about the structure of disability support. More to the point, given the size of the prison population – and the size of the population of the UK that have an intellectual disability. The question I’d really like to ask is this: if you are say, male, living in the UK, and between 18-25, what are the odds you are in prison if a) you have an intellectual disability and b) if you don’t. Because if those numbers are very different, then maybe it’s time to really rethink the whole model of delivering both formal support and charity enguagement.