Improving the Outcomes of Offenders With Learning Disabilities
In recent years there has been a lot of work put into setting up community services for those with learning disabilities to make their time in hospital as short as it can be.
The latest statistics show that there were 2,530 people in specialist hospital beds in England at the end of January, 63% of these people have been in this position for over 2 years.
According to Community Care, out of these 2,530 people, 1,230 are in a secure setting. The exact number of people with autism or a learning disability on prison sentences is unknown, but it is believed to be high.
However, the article explains that individuals with learning disabilities may be less able to understand what they’ve done and why it is wrong, as they are unlikely to have the experience, empathy or relationship skills to base their judgement on.
The piece was written by Steph Palmerone, Managing Director of Waymarks, who has identified that personalised support works much more effectively than institutional approaches. By placing people into isolated prisons or secure hospitals, away from society, gives them less chance to improve, and in most cases means that the behaviour of these individuals gets worse.
Palmerone believes that there are a number of ways in which local authority commissioners and practitioners can make a difference to the way in which these situations are dealt with, including; Setting up risky behaviours frameworks where professionals have the expertise to tackle working with those who have complex histories and abnormal behaviours as well as ensuring that the individual, their families, friends, the NHS, the police, and other relevant authorities all develop a relationship to enable them to work together to improve the situation.