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Article
Publication date: 13 June 2016

Vanessa Louise Shaw

The purpose of this paper is to improve the health and criminal justice outcomes for people who come into contact with the criminal justice system. People with learning…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to improve the health and criminal justice outcomes for people who come into contact with the criminal justice system. People with learning disabilities (LD) are particularly vulnerable to health and social inequalities within the criminal justice system.

Design/methodology/approach

Using examples from practice, this paper discusses some of the challenges and achievements experienced by a LD nurse employed within a liaison and diversion service within the North-West of England.

Findings

Whilst the specific functions of liaison and diversion practitioners are detailed by National Health Service (NHS) England (2014), complexities in communication, multi-disciplinary working and role recognition affect the embedment of the role in practice.

Research limitations/implications

The implications for practice are identified and recommendations for further research made. These seek to evaluate the impact of liaison and diversion services from the perspectives of LD nurses within liaison and diversion services, people with LD, their families and the wider multi-disciplinary team.

Originality/value

NHS England (2015) are in the process of evaluating of liaison and diversion services. This paper adds to the evaluation by discussing the experiences of a LD nurse within a liaison and diversion service through the inclusion of activity data and illustrative examples.

Details

Journal of Intellectual Disabilities and Offending Behaviour, vol. 7 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-8824

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Article
Publication date: 9 March 2015

Daniel Silva, Karen Gough and Hannah Weeks

At present, there are significant limitations to the criminal justice system’s (CJS) ability to respond appropriately to detainees or defendant with learning disabilities…

Abstract

Purpose

At present, there are significant limitations to the criminal justice system’s (CJS) ability to respond appropriately to detainees or defendant with learning disabilities (LD). The development of Liaison and Diversion Services has provided the opportunity to more easily identify people with LD in the CJS through the use of screening assessments. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to consider why there is a need for screening assessments and review the literature on existing measures, in order to consider the next steps to develop a more effective pathway from the CJS to LD services.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper takes the form of a literature review.

Findings

The review found that there is a significant body of research defending the need for LD screening in the CJS across the UK. The aim of a screening process would be to identify individuals who possibly have LD and ensure that the correct measures are in place to assess and manage these individuals, including appropriate diversion to specialist LD services. The learning disability screening questionnaire (LDSQ) is an instrument that could be utilised in these instances and could be carried out by Liaison and Diversion Services.

Research limitations/implications

Neither of the tools reviewed in this paper have been vigorously field tested within forensic settings in the UK. It is recommended that there should be trials of the LDSQ as a screening tool within Liaison and Diversion Services with comparison against outcomes of full diagnostic assessments for LD.

Originality/value

Screening for LD is being discussed across the UK as part of Liaison and Diversion Services. This paper highlights the need for a reliable and valid screening tool and provides support for the use of the LDSQ.

Details

Journal of Intellectual Disabilities and Offending Behaviour, vol. 6 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-8824

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Article
Publication date: 2 October 2017

Eddie Chaplin, Jane McCarthy and Andrew Forrester

The purpose of this paper is to examine the role of liaison and diversion services working in the lower courts (also known as Magistrates’ courts) with regard to autism…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the role of liaison and diversion services working in the lower courts (also known as Magistrates’ courts) with regard to autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) and their assessment, in particular, the role of pre-sentence and psychiatric reports and interviews.

Design/methodology/approach

Current practice is described in the lower courts in the context of current legislation and procedures.

Findings

When writing reports, there is a need for expertise to offer an opinion on future risk, disposal and what needs to be in place to support people with ASDs. No assumptions should be made when reporting on the basis of an ASD diagnosis alone and each case must be assessed on its individual merits while ensuring that individual human rights are protected.

Originality/value

There is currently a sparse literature examining ASD in court settings. This paper seeks to clarify the current practice.

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Article
Publication date: 9 March 2015

Ruth Howard, Emma Phipps, Jane Clarbour and Kelly Rayner

People with learning disabilities (LD) often lack necessary support in navigating and coping within the Criminal Justice System (CJS). The purpose of this paper is to…

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Abstract

Purpose

People with learning disabilities (LD) often lack necessary support in navigating and coping within the Criminal Justice System (CJS). The purpose of this paper is to explore their experiences, from their own perspective, and identify the supports which need to be implemented.

Design/methodology/approach

Focus groups were held with nine patients in a forensic LD service, discussing their experiences and support needs within the CJS. Template analysis was undertaken on the transcripts.

Findings

Four themes were identified: negative feelings, professional attitudes, suitability of the CJS, and supports needed.

Practical implications

This research demonstrates the valuable opinions to be obtained from offenders with LD on their experiences and needs. Implications for the CJS include a need for further awareness, training, and expertise to work effectively with people with LD. Participant perspectives also highlight the importance of consistent liaison and diversion schemes, and indicate that CJS services may have something to learn from healthcare settings.

Originality/value

Previous knowledge of offenders with LD overlooked the perspective of the service user. This research has given this group a voice, and has benefited from their insight. This is a timely piece of research in the current landscape of the CJS, and so these findings may be of practical value to the implementation of supports, particularly the liaison and diversion schemes.

Details

Journal of Intellectual Disabilities and Offending Behaviour, vol. 6 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-8824

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Article
Publication date: 23 September 2009

Liz Hughes

This article considers The Bradley Report and specifically its implications for dual diagnosis. This includes implications for dual diagnosis services, drug courts and

Abstract

This article considers The Bradley Report and specifically its implications for dual diagnosis. This includes implications for dual diagnosis services, drug courts and mental health courts, role of liaison and diversion, and continuity of care on release.

Details

Advances in Dual Diagnosis, vol. 2 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-0972

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Article
Publication date: 20 February 2019

Gautam Gulati, Kizito Otuokpaikhian, Maeve Crowley, Vishnu Pradeep, David Meagher and Colum P. Dunne

The purpose of this paper is to study the demographic, clinical characteristics and outcomes for those prisoners referred to secondary mental healthcare in a regional…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to study the demographic, clinical characteristics and outcomes for those prisoners referred to secondary mental healthcare in a regional Irish prison and the proportion of individuals diverted subsequently from prison to psychiatric settings.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors conducted a retrospective review of 130 successive psychiatric assessment case records at a regional mixed gender prison serving six southern Irish counties. The authors analysed demographics, clinical characteristics and outcomes. Where diversion out of prison was undertaken, Dangerousness, Understanding, Recovery and Urgency Manual (DUNDRUM) scores were retrospectively completed to assess security need.

Findings

In total, 8.6 per cent of all committals from liberty were referred by a general practitioner and 8.1 per cent subsequently assessed by the visiting psychiatrist. Predominantly, these were young males charged with a violent offence. In all, 42.2 per cent of those assessed by secondary care were diagnosed with a substance misuse disorder and 21.1 per cent with a personality disorder. In total, 20.3 per cent suffered from a psychotic disorder and 10.6 per cent with an affective disorder. Of those seen by psychiatric services, 51.2 per cent required psychotropic medication, 29.2 per cent required psychological input and 59.3 per cent required addiction counselling. In all, 10.6 per cent of those assessed were diverted from prison, the majority to approved centres. Mean DUNDRUM-1 scores suggested that those referred to high and medium secure hospitals were appropriately placed, whereas those diverted to open wards would have benefited from a low secure/intensive care setting.

Originality/value

The multifaceted need set of those referred strengthens the argument for the provision of multidisciplinary mental healthcare into prisons. The analysis of security needs for those diverted from prisons supports the need for Intensive Care Regional Units in Ireland.

Details

International Journal of Prisoner Health, vol. 15 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1744-9200

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Article
Publication date: 25 April 2020

Eleanor Burch and John Rose

Research suggests that individuals with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) are inconsistently supported throughout the criminal justice system (CJS) in the UK. Bradley…

Abstract

Purpose

Research suggests that individuals with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) are inconsistently supported throughout the criminal justice system (CJS) in the UK. Bradley (2009) recommended the introduction of criminal justice liaison and diversion (L&D) teams to bridge the gap between the CJS and mental health services and provide a more consistent and improved quality of support for individuals with vulnerabilities, including those with autism. This study aims to explore the experiences of staff working in L&D teams who encounter individuals with ASD.

Design/methodology/approach

Interviews were conducted with ten L&D team members. Interpretative phenomenological analysis was used to gain insight into their lived experiences of working with autism in the CJS.

Findings

Interpretation of individual transcripts resulted in three super-ordinate themes: “feeling helpless and helpful in the system”, “transition to knowing” and “impact on self”. Each theme encapsulated a number of sub-themes depicting the limitations of services, difficult environments, making a difference, lack of understanding, developing understanding and the impact of these experiences on staff’s confidence, attitudes and well-being.

Practical implications

Criminal justice services are limited for people with autism. There is a lack of autism awareness by staff. Lack of awareness impacts staff attitudes and confidence. Training in autism should be provided to criminal justice staff.

Originality/value

This research highlights the limitations of services available for individuals with autism and the widespread lack of autism awareness. These concerns directly impacted participants’ confidence, attitudes and well-being. Recommendations are proposed to guide future practice and research including increasing availability of access to ASD services, enforcing mandatory autism-specific training for staff and routinely collecting service-user feedback.

Details

Journal of Criminological Research, Policy and Practice, vol. 6 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2056-3841

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Article
Publication date: 21 July 2010

Jenny Talbot and Jessica Jacobson

Although precise numbers are unknown, it is generally acknowledged that between 5‐10% of the offending population are people with learning disabilities. While there are…

Abstract

Although precise numbers are unknown, it is generally acknowledged that between 5‐10% of the offending population are people with learning disabilities. While there are few provisions that explicitly target defendants with learning disabilities there is a general recognition in law that defendants must be able to understand and participate effectively in the criminal proceedings of which they are a part. The implications of the principle of effective participation are that criminal prosecution may be deemed inappropriate for certain defendants with learning disabilities, in which case they may be diverted away from criminal justice and into health care. There is scope for a variety of measures to be put into place to support defendants with learning disabilities to maximise their chances of participating effectively. However, in terms of statutory provision, there is a lack of parity between vulnerable witnesses and vulnerable defendants. Further, the absence of effective screening procedures to identify defendants' learning disabilities means that their support needs often go unrecognised and unmet.

Details

Journal of Learning Disabilities and Offending Behaviour, vol. 1 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-0927

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Article
Publication date: 10 October 2011

Karina Hepworth

Increasing research evidence highlights the importance of recognising a person's learning disability early in their journey through the Criminal Justice System (CJS) and

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536

Abstract

Purpose

Increasing research evidence highlights the importance of recognising a person's learning disability early in their journey through the Criminal Justice System (CJS) and highlights the need for liaison and diversion schemes. This practice paper seeks to raise awareness of the importance of mental capacity and its alignment (or lack there of) with the issue of fitness to plead.

Design/methodology/approach

The Law Commission's recent consultation has highlighted the disparity of the Pritchard Test and the Mental Capacity Act 2005, and has considered several provisional proposals for consideration. As a learning disability nurse within a Youth Offending Service, the author encounters young people on court Orders who struggle to understand the criminal justice process. To highlight the significance of this, and its relationship to practice, the paper proposes to discuss a young person's case.

Findings

Early recognition of a person's needs and mental capacity are crucial to ensure the right pathway is taken through the criminal justice system. Whether this be supporting the person to undertake their Order and delivery of an appropriate and understandable intervention or diversion away from the criminal justice system into services. Information sharing and working together are key factors to success.

Originality/value

This paper seeks to highlight the difficulties and dilemmas facing staff working within the criminal justice system in relation to the identification and support needs of people with learning difficulties. Learning disability nurses and those professionals working within learning disability services have a significant part to play in this area of work and can help to ensure that people with learning disabilities do not face double jeopardy and injustice.

Details

Journal of Learning Disabilities and Offending Behaviour, vol. 2 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-0927

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Article
Publication date: 20 May 2020

Karina Marshall-Tate, Eddie Chaplin, Jane McCarthy and Annmarie Grealish

Expert consensus is that people with an intellectual disability are over represented across the criminal justice setting (CJS). Primary research studies have been…

Abstract

Purpose

Expert consensus is that people with an intellectual disability are over represented across the criminal justice setting (CJS). Primary research studies have been conducted in police stations and prisons, but little is known about the prevalence of this population in the court setting. The purpose of this paper is to conduct a literature review to find out more about the prevalence of defendants with an intellectual disability in court.

Design/methodology/approach

A literature review was conducted using standard systematic review methodology (Julian et al., 2011) and the PRISMA reporting guidelines (Moher et al., 2009).

Findings

Two papers met the inclusion criteria and were critically appraised. The papers reported prevalence findings ranging from 10%–20%.

Research limitations/implications

Differences in study design, sampling, recruitment and diagnostic criteria affect the ability to make comparisons or synthesise findings.

Practical implications

It is important that future primary and secondary research studies standardise operational terms to enable true comparison between studies, systematic reviews and evidence syntheses.

Social implications

Defendants with an intellectual disability need to be identified to enable criminal justice professionals to make reasonable adjustments to proceedings and consider diversion and alternative disposal options. This will likely improve outcomes for this population and reduce recidivism.

Originality/value

This literature review contributes to the growing evidence base about meeting the criminal justice needs of people with a learning disability and recognition of the increased prevalence across the CJS and specifically within the court setting.

Details

Journal of Intellectual Disabilities and Offending Behaviour, vol. 11 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-8824

Keywords

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