No One Knows Publications

This report presents the findings of a major survey of prisoners with learning disabilities and learning difficulties, which explored their experiences of the criminal justice system. What is clear is that the particular needs of people who have learning disabilities or difficulties are not recognised, let alone met; from the point of arrest through to release from prison the criminal justice system routinely fails them. It concludes with a series of recommendations and checklists for local action.


This report is the first in a series of reports and briefing papers from No One Knows. It covers preliminary findings on research undertaken into the views of prison staff on how prisoners with learning difficulties and learning disabilities are identified and supported. The views of prisoners with learning difficulties and learning disabilities will be gathered during 2007. This report focuses on prisons in England and Wales. A similar report is available for Scotland and Northern Ireland. 

 


This report is one in a series of reports and briefing papers from No One Knows. It sets out the views of prison staff in Scotland on how prisoners with learning difficulties and learning disabilities are identified and supported. A similar report has been produced for England and Wales (Talbot 2007).

 

 

This report provides a stimulus for further discussion and action not only by the police but also by colleagues in health and social care. It also lays out a set of policy and practice recommendations for radical reform which require commitment and leadership across government departments. In recent years support for victims and witnesses with learning disabilities has been the subject of much needed attention and some good progress has been made. However, the same cannot be said for people with learning disabilities who come into contact with the police as suspects.

 

 

 

The literature review on which this briefing paper is based brings together authoritative research on the prevalence and associated needs of offenders with learning difficulties and learning disabilities.The review demonstrates for the first time the vast hidden problem of high numbers of men, women and children with learning difficulties and learning disabilities trapped within the criminal justice system.