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Learning disability nursing in the criminal justice system: achieving justice for all – understanding need and enabling change for young people in the youth offending team and resolution and understanding for victims

Karina Louise Hepworth (Kirklees Youth offending team, South West Yorkshire partnership NHS Trust, Huddersfield, UK)
Helen Williams (Kirklees Youth Offending Team, Kirklees Council, Huddersfield, UK)

Journal of Intellectual Disabilities and Offending Behaviour

ISSN: 2050-8824

Article publication date: 9 March 2015

Abstract

Purpose

The learning disability nursing role in the multi-professional Youth Offending Team (YOT) enables the recognition, acknowledgement and understanding of the needs of people entering the Criminal Justice System (CJS) and provides a platform to ensure appropriate identification, assessment, planning and delivery of care ensuring successful completion of the Order and subsequent recidivism and reduction in reoffending. The purpose of this paper is to share the experience of working with young people who have committed a crime and are found to have unmet or undiagnosed additional needs.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper seeks to consider how learning disability nursing skills compliment the range of expertise in the multi-professional YOT and discusses the case of a young woman and her experience of the CJS from pre-sentence to completion of the Order.

Findings

Working together enables effective care delivery to ensure the needs of the person are recognised, understood and acted upon and achieves a balance between welfare for the person and justice and understanding for the victim.

Originality/value

This paper’s value is to demonstrate that recognition of need enables the appropriate intervention and delivery of care. Through working together a reduction in young people returning into the CJS as well as building skills and understanding in staff working with young people with additional needs can be achieved.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This paper is testament to a young person and their family’s willingness and commitment to want to tell others about their experience of accessing services and the criminal justice system. They wanted us to share their story and the authors hope that justice has been done to what they wanted to say. Names and some of the facts in the case have been changed to ensure anonymity.

Citation

Hepworth, K.L. and Williams, H. (2015), "Learning disability nursing in the criminal justice system: achieving justice for all – understanding need and enabling change for young people in the youth offending team and resolution and understanding for victims", Journal of Intellectual Disabilities and Offending Behaviour, Vol. 6 No. 1, pp. 15-22. https://doi.org/10.1108/JIDOB-05-2015-0010

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited