Forensic Network Clinical Forum: Intellectual Disabilities

Seeing the wood for the trees

Tuesday 22nd May at SPS College, Polmont

SOLD have been invited to present at the next meeting of the Forensic Network’s clinical forum, focusing on intellectual disabilities.
We will be speaking about the various guidance documents that we have produced, and continue to produce, as we work towards our aim of producing a comprehensive pack of resources for both service users and professionals.

These include a series of easy read guides:

  • A guide to being under arrest, which helps people to understand the police custody procedure and their legal rights.
  • A guide to going to court, which is currently being worked on by our user group, and which will help people to understand the procedures around being on trial, the court processes and their legal rights.
  • A guide to understanding what is a crime
  • These are supported by guidance on how to use easy read material. This is important because professionals and services often make the mistake of assuming that simply giving people an easy read version of information is sufficient. The reality is that even people with quite a good reading ability will still need someone to go through that information with them to help them properly digest and understand it.

Additionally, guidance for professionals includes:

  • A practice guide for support workers: people with learning disabilities in the Scottish criminal justice system, which advises support workers and provider organisations on the procedures at each stage of the justice pathway, and the support they are allowed to provide should the person they support become involved with the justice system. This is currently being updated to take account of changes introduced by the Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 2016.
  • This will be supported by a companion volume which is currently being developed: Guidance for defence solicitors when representing a person with a cognitive impairment. This will advise solicitors on how to communicate more effectively, the different sources of support available and the possible benefits to the person of involving those.
  • The criminal justice pathway for people with learning disabilities: challenges and opportunities for change. This provides a simplified, easy to understand guide to the route through the criminal justice system, and suggests areas for improvement. Download and view the guide.

We will also talk about the future direction for the SOLD project, including the challenge of integrating the needs of people with autism into our work, and the need to address effective preventative work with people with cognitive impairments in line with the Community Justice Strategy.

View the full programme for the day