Discrimination of prisoners with learning disability in the criminal justice system of the United Kingdom and other countries across the globe has become a serious issue in the recent decade. The term ‘dual discrimination’ has been introduced by Bartlett (2004) to describe…
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A current study conducted in New South Wales, Australia reported that 80% of the total prisoner population have a mental disorder. In the United States, more than half of the prisoner population are under medication for psychotic problems and major depression. Studies in the United Kingdom have reported a comparable situation. As reported by a current Prison Reform Trust study, prisoners with learning disabilities experience discrimination and other human rights violence. Among people with mental disorders those with learning disorders are still among the most discriminated and mistreated members of the society. According to the United Nations Special Rapporteur, “... [t]heir neglect is reflected in society at large, among the health professionals, and in the human rights community.” This discrimination and neglect are even more severe in the prison environment in numerous countries. Current studies in several countries have revealed the huge population of prisoners suffering from learning disabilities and the severely insufficient attention given to their mental health care needs.
Some individuals with learning disabilities are at risk of criminal behaviour and are, thus, predisposed to have dealings with the criminal justice system. People with borderline and mild learning disorders make up the bulk of the total population of those with learning disabilities. According to the 2001 report of the Department of Health (DoH), roughly 1.2 million individuals in the UK have a mild to moderate learning disability. Estimations from the data of prison population show that daily roughly 5,000 individuals with learning disabilities are incarcerated together with an additional 19,500 individuals with probable mild to moderate learning disabilities. Several studies have been carried out which emphasise service insufficiencies, ...
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