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Learning Lessons Bulletin: The Experience of Prisoners with Dementia (Eng and Wales)

5th September 2016

The Prisons and Probation Ombudsman of England and Wales, Nigel Newcomen, launched his latest 'Learning Lessons Bulletin' offering a host of recommendations regarding dealing with prisoners suffering from dementia. 

Given that prisons tend to be designed to meet the needs of younger people, prison authorities are today struggling with the challenge of managing a rapidly ageing prison population. Between 2004 and 2014, those aged 60 and over constituted the fastest growing segment of the prison population in England and Wales, increasing by 125%. 

Mr Newcomen highlights a number of case studies, including one whereby a prisoner suffering from dementia was chained to a prison officer until the point of his death, while he offers a number of recommendations to prison authorities, including the development of consultative care plans, improved communication between health service providers within prisons, the development of dementia-friendly, accessible facilities, and the development of social care role for fellow prisoners in caring for the dementia-sufferer. The 'Bulletin' can be found here

The Ombudsman's Bulletin comes ahead of the UN International Day of Older Persons (1 October 2016), on the eve of which IPRT will launch its new report on 'The Rights, Needs and Experiences of Older People in Prison in Ireland'. Details are available here

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