‘Out of the Shadows’: Women with learning disabilities and the criminal justice system
15th May 2019
The Prison Reform Trust, in collaboration with Key Ring
Living Support, have published ‘Out
of the Shadows’, a report that finds women with learning disabilities are
at risk of becoming drawn into the criminal justice system due to failures to
recognise their disability and a lack of appropriate support.
The report on the experiences of 24 women with learning
disabilities in contact with, or on the edges of, the criminal justice system;
and practitioners working within criminal justice, social care, and women’s
The report outlines 10 recommendations which should, if
implemented, help to ensure the needs of women with learning disabilities are
recognised and met, enabling them to lead healthy and productive lives.
- At every level – local, regional and national,
senior leaders responsible for social care, policing and justice should ensure
that women specific responses include provision for women with learning
disabilities, and responses to people with learning disabilities include a
women specific response.
- A system wide strategy for working with women
with multiple needs, including women with learning disabilities, should be
developed in every local authority area. The overall strategy and operational
activity should involve multi-sector partners, and the involvement of women
with multiple needs should be embedded and inform service provision.
- All women suspects should be screened by liaison
and diversion services on entry into police custody, including for learning
To read the report in
full, visit the Prison Reform Trust website here.