ERIC Number: EJ774558
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Sep
Reference Count: N/A
Women with Learning Disabilities Who Offend: What Do We Know?
Hayes, Susan Carol
British Journal of Learning Disabilities, v35 n3 p187-191 Sep 2007
Of the 4000 women and girls in custody in England and Wales, an unknown proportion will have a learning disability. Most research on the plight of offenders or accused persons with a learning disability has focussed on men because women form a small proportion of the prison population, and women with learning disabilities are an even smaller sub-group. Women prisoners are likely to be poor, under-educated, and lacking in vocational skills. Many report having been the victim of physical, emotional or sexual abuse, and the majority have symptoms of mental disorder. The small number of women's prisons and the paucity of community options for diversion from prison result in specific areas of difficulty and unmet need for this group. As with their non-disabled counterparts, women with a learning disability in prison have a high rate of mental illness, greater than their male counterparts with a learning disability. There is little advocacy for women prisoners with a learning disability and they tend to be an overlooked and devalued group. Further research and policy development is urgently needed, enabling the voice of women offenders with a learning disability to be heard.
Descriptors: Foreign Countries, Females, Sexual Abuse, Mental Disorders, Correctional Institutions, Learning Disabilities, Symptoms (Individual Disorders), Low Income, Institutionalized Persons, Public Policy, Advocacy
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (England); United Kingdom (Wales)