The numbers of prisoners in Scotland with Learning Disabilities is unclear, however, there is research to show that people with learning disabilities are over represented among the prison population.
Prisoners with a learning disability are more likely than mainstream prisoners to be subject to control and restraint procedures, to be bullied and to re-offend.
Key Challenge identified
- Suitable support is available to people with learning disabilities to help end the cycle of re-offending
Legal/ Policy Framework
- The Keys to Life Implementation framework and priorities 2015 – 2017
- UNRPD Article 13 (United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities)
- ECHR Article 2 (European Convention of Human Rights)
- ECHR Article 3 (European Convention of Human Rights)
- ECHR Article 8 (European Convention of Human Rights)
- The Prisons and Young Offenders Institutions (Scotland) Rules 2011
- The Equality Act 2010
How does the SOLD network plan to address the challenges identified?
Our members believe that change is possible!
We reviewed the key interaction points, for people with learning disabilities, along the criminal justice pathway, which helped us identify recommendations for change.
The key recommendations to improve the experience of prison and reduce re-offending are:
- A validated screening tool should be developed and routinely used throughout the prison estate .
- Greater integration of social care services with the prison system to ensure that offenders with known vulnerability do not experience delay for referrals to support services.
- Collaborative working partnerships must be developed with the third sector to ensure effective signposting/ matching to support services upon leaving prison.
- Where prisoners are known to be vulnerable a care package must be put in place prior to them being liberated.
- Priority should be given to maintaining prisoners family links.
If you are a member of SOLD you can request a copy of our action plans which detail how we are working towards implementing our recommendations for change.