The most recent SOLD event was held on Wednesday 11th October at Norton Park Conference Centre in Edinburgh. The title was:
‘Reducing the use of secure forensic detention and improving support for vulnerable people in the community’
To view the programme for the above event click here – Programme
To view the discussion paper for the above event click here – Discussion Paper
This event was organised jointly by SOLD and the CJVSF (Criminal Justice Voluntary Sector Forum)
The purpose of the event was to look at the use of forensic detention and the scope for reducing the number of people detained, collaborative approaches that are helping community-based support for convicted people who have learning disabilities and/or mental health issues, and some of the challenges facing vulnerable people in the criminal justice system.
The event was Chaired by Graham Forbes, Chair of the Mental Welfare Commission, and included input from:
- Fergus Douds, Consultant Psychiatrist, State Hospital who talked about the scope for reducing the number of people in forensic detention and the barriers to achieving that.
- Simon Pearce-Madge, Managing Director, Thera who talked about the challenges of supporting people with forensic needs in the community and the need for a fully collaborative approach.
There were 4 workshops:
- The SOLD user group discussed their own experiences of forensic detention and their thoughts on what is good community-based support that works for them
- Frances Simpson, CEO, Support in Mind discussed their work around distress, place of safety and Distress Brief Interventions (DBI), and explored other initiatives for avoiding custody for people in crisis
- Richard Thomson, Community Justice Co-ordinator in Clacks discussed the contributions the new community justice partnerships can make to reducing offending
- The Centre for Youth and Criminal Justice discussed the lessons that can be learnt from preventive work with young offenders and how that learning might help improve outcomes for vulnerable people more generally.
A findings report and videos of the keynote presentations will be available in due course.
The Supporting Offenders with Learning Disabilities Network (SOLD) is led by a partnership between People First Scotland and the Association for Real Change (ARC) Scotland. Support and guidance for our work comes from a User group of people with learning disabilities who have experience of the criminal justice system, and an Advisory group of professionals and a representative from the User group.
There are over 330 members of the SOLD network from a broad range of backgrounds including: Voluntary Sector Providers, Police Scotland, NHS, Social Work, academic institutions, Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service, Scottish Government and the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS).
If you have a learning disability and experience of the criminal justice system, and you would like to join our user group, please email: Kenny.firstname.lastname@example.org
Reduce offending and improve support for offenders with learning disabilities in Scotland.
The beneficiaries of our work also include people who have other significant communication difficulties, such as acquired brain injury, autism and foetal alcohol syndrome.