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Article
Publication date: 4 May 2020

Laura Ramsay, Helen Wakeling, Rebecca De Lucchi and Hannah Gilbert

The purpose of this paper is to examine staff views’ of the usefulness of the Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) screening tools for learning disability…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine staff views’ of the usefulness of the Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) screening tools for learning disability and/or learning challenges (LDC) on offending behaviour programme selection and programme participant’s learning experiences.

Design/methodology/approach

In total, 11 treatment managers (TMs) and 10 programme graduates across 4 prison sites, from a range of HMPPS accredited programmes were interviewed. The interviews were transcribed, analysed and interpreted using Braun and Clarke’s (2006) method of thematic analysis.

Findings

Overall, TMs found the screening tools useful in aiding programme allocation decisions, particularly, in terms of the triangulated approach and were, in general, using them in line with the guidance. A number of key factors influenced programme allocation decisions, including participant factors, information gathered from a number of sources and from a range of staff and in collaboration with the individual. The importance of being responsive to the needs of the individual was highlighted. Group participants generally felt they were on the right programme according to their needs and found the programmes responsive. Suggestions for further research and improving programme selection are made.

Research limitations/implications

Data were collected from four prisons, each providing a number of different accredited programmes. Caution is, therefore, needed when generalising the findings.

Originality/value

This research contributes to ensuring that those with LDC have equality of opportunity in reducing their risk of reoffending through accessing HMPPS accredited offending behaviour programmes most responsive to their learning needs. It also contributes to the growing evidence base about the effective use of LDC screening tools in forensic settings.

Details

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

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