The most recent SOLD event was organised by our User group. The title was:
Rights and Support in the Justice System
It was held on
Wednesday 21st November
From 10.30am – 3.00pm
At Norton Park Conference Centre in Edinburgh
(next to Easter Road stadium)
This event was for people with learning disabilities, autism or other additional support needs.
There are changes happening to support for people in the justice system.
People came and learned about their rights. They told us what support they would need if they were:-
- accused of a crime
- victim of a crime
- witness to a crime
At the event, people also:-
- Heard about what is happening for people in the justice system – the outcome of the Appropriate adult consultation and the new supports available under the vulnerable victims and witnesses act.
- Had their say about the supports they would need going through the justice process – Shared experiences, told us the supports they thought they would need and told us whether the new supports being offered would make a difference.
- Got a copy of our new easy read guides – The members of the SOLD group have been developing easy read guides. These were launched at the event and available for people.
- Learned about their rights – We played a house of rights board game about the rights people have in the justice system.
A report of the discussions held at the event will be published shortly.
This SOLD event was held on Wednesday 21st March at Norton Park Conference Centre in Edinburgh. It was fully booked, with ninety-five delegates attending on the day.
This represented the final part of a trilogy of events, having previously looked at ways of improving supports for cognitively impaired defendants in police custody and in court.
The Scottish Government is committed to the principle of presumption against short-term prison sentences, and increased use of community based disposals. We are keen to ensure fair and equal access to Community Payback Orders, and that cognitively impaired people receive the support they need to comply and avoid unnecessarily breaching their Order. We are also keen that people receive the communication support they need in prison and to break the cycle of re-offending.
Delegates were asked to consider the three following questions:
- How do we ensure people with learning disabilities, autism and other communication difficulties receive the support they need to have fair and equal access to community-based alternatives to prison?
- How do we ensure people with learning disabilities, autism and other communication difficulties receive the support they need whilst in prison, particularly with issues of “exclusion”, marginalisation, disempowerment and probable lack of activity in education, work training and programmes?
- How do we ensure people with learning disabilities, autism and other communication difficulties receive the support they need to break the cycle of re-offending, particularly taking into account the different motivations that might lead people to re-offend? g. institutional dependency.
Our thanks go to David Strang, HM Chief Inspector of Prisons in Scotland for Chairing the event. And to our keynote speakers:
- Members of the SOLD User group, for speaking about their lived experience
- James King, Head of Learning and Skills, Scottish Prison Service, for discussing current initiatives within SPS (Powerpoint)
- Gary Docherty, Consultant LD Nurse and co-founder of the SOLD Network, for discussing the challenges faced by people with learning disabilities in prison and on CPOs, and effective models of support (Powerpoint)
- Caitlin Gormley, Scottish Centre for Criminal Justice Research, University of Glasgow, for discussing the unmet needs of people with learning disabilities while in prison (Powerpoint)
- Clare Allely, University of Salford, for discussing autism in prison and secure psychiatric care (Powerpoint)
- Hugh Asher, Keyring, for discussing peer mentoring training in Learning Disability awareness in prisons (Powerpoint)
- Charlie Martin, The Wise Group, for discussing the rehabilitation of people from prison and breaking the cycle of re-offending (Powerpoint)
Copies of the Programme, the Discussion Paper or powerpoint slides from the keynote presentations, can be viewed using the links below:
A report from the event is being written up and will be available here on the SOLD website in due course.