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Gautam Gulati, Stephen Quigley, Valerie Elizabeth Murphy, Evan Yacoub, John Bogue, Anthony Kearns, Conor O’Neill, Mary Kelly, Aideen Morrison, Gerard Griffin, Mary Blewitt, Elizabeth Fistein, David Meagher and Colum P. Dunne
Individuals with an intellectual disability (ID) form a significant minority in the Irish prison population and worldwide prison populations. There is growing recognition…
Individuals with an intellectual disability (ID) form a significant minority in the Irish prison population and worldwide prison populations. There is growing recognition that specialist services for such individuals are in need of development. The purpose of this paper is to propose a care pathway for the management of individuals with an ID who present in prison, based on expert elicitation and consensus.
A convenience sample of professionals with a special interest in forensic intellectual disabilities was invited to participate in a Delphi exercise. In total, 12 agreed to participation and 10 subsequently completed the study (83.3 per cent). Expert views were elicited using a semi-structured questionnaire. Content analysis was completed using NVivo 11 software. A care pathway was subsequently proposed, based on the outcomes of the analysis, and circulated to participants for debate and consensus. A consensus was reached on management considerations.
Ten experts across a range of disciplines with a combined experience of 187 years participated in the study. Current provision of care was seen as limited and geographically variable. The vulnerability of prisoners with ID was highlighted. The need for equivalence of care with the community through multidisciplinary input and development of specialist secure and residential placements to facilitate diversion was identified. Consensus was achieved on a proposed care pathway.
This study proposes a care pathway for the assessment and management of prisoners with an ID and is, therefore, potentially relevant to those interested in this topic internationally who may similarly struggle with the current lack of decision-making tools for this setting. Although written from an Irish perspective, it outlines key considerations for psychiatrists in keeping with international guidance and, therefore, may be generalisable to other jurisdictions.
While individuals with an intellectual disability form a significant minority in the worldwide prison population, their healthcare needs require specialist attention. In…
While individuals with an intellectual disability form a significant minority in the worldwide prison population, their healthcare needs require specialist attention. In Ireland, services for prisoners with intellectual disabilities need development. However, there is little substantive data estimating the prevalence of intellectual disabilities within the Irish prison system. The paper aims to discuss these issues.
The authors systematically review published data relating to the prevalence of intellectual disabilities in prisons in the Republic of Ireland. The authors searched four databases, governmental websites and corresponded with experts.
Little published data were elicited from searches except for one nationwide cross-sectional survey which reflected a higher prevalence than reported in international studies. Studies from forensic mental health populations are narrated to contextualise findings.
This study found that there is little data to accurately estimate the prevalence of intellectual disabilities in the Irish prison system and the limited data available suggests that this is likely to be higher than international estimates. The authors highlight the need for further research to accurately estimate prevalence in this jurisdiction, alongside the need to develop screening and care pathways for prisoners with an intellectual disability.