Thursday, June 22, 2017
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Frontline Issue 91
frontline 91-1

Articles

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Stephen Kealy

This issue of Frontline has as its theme forensic issues in disability. All articles have detailed references which are not included for space reasons, but they are available from the Editor on request. People with disabilities commit fewer crimes than able-bodied people, but they are disproportionally represented in higher numbers within the custodial system. Many of the topics discussed in the articles here are not often openly aired, but attention does need to be paid to them, and, in particular, how as a society we balance competing rights...

Glynis H Murphy, Tizard Centre, University of Kent, & Neil Sinclair, Sinclair-Strong Consultants Ltd.

Since the 1980s, it has been known that people with intellectual disabilities are particularly likely to be sexually abused, compared to other care groups. It has turned out that most of the abusers are men, and that roughly 50% them are family members or staff. But roughly 50% are men who themselves have intellectual disabilities, often men sharing services of some kind with the victims (Turk and Brown 1993; Brown et al. 1995; McCarthy and Thompson 1997)...

Noelle Sammon, Research Assistant, HSE Psychology Department, Abbey Town House, Roscommon.

Individuals with an Intellectual Disability (ID) who wish to become, or have become, parents can face considerable difficulties in their interaction with the legal system in Ireland. Becoming a parent is something that can present quite a struggle for individuals with an ID (McConnell and Llewellyn 2002). Historically cases have been brought before the courts by the parents of individuals with an ID, in order to prevent them from having a child through enforced sterilisation (McConnell and Llewellyn 2002)...

Tara Deehan, Counselling Psychologist, Arbour Hill Prison on the issues affecting those imprisoned with an intellectual disability.

International and national statistics suggest that at any given time, approximately 10% to 28% of the prison population present with an intellectual disability (ID). These studies also include people who present with specific learning disabilities and who have not been formally diagnosed with an intellectual disability. It is ethically questionable whether a person with an ID should be imprisoned in the first instance. Research suggests that a lack of community support is a primary contributor to the prevalence of those with an ID within the criminal justice system...

by Donal Fitzsimons, Manager of Disability Services, HSE Mid-Leinster–Midlands Area

When you or I offend and break the law in Ireland we can expect the full rigors of that law, with all its sanctions apportioned. We expect the law to deal with us in a fair and balanced way and if we are found guilty we must pay for the crime. However, if you have an intellectual disability and you break the law you may have a very different experience...

Alan Corbett, Chair of the Training Committee of the Institute of Psychotherapy and Disability, on the victims of sexual abuse with intellectual disabilities

The word ‘forensic’ relates to the application of scientific methods and techniques to the investigation of crime. My work as a forensic psychotherapist should then logically be concerned with victims and perpetrators of crime. Because, however, most of my clients tend to be people with an intellectual disability, crime and the criminal justice system are remarkably...

Richard Curen, Consultant Forensic Psychotherapist, works predominantly with adolescents & adults with learning disabilities, ADHD, autistic spectrum disorders and mental health problems.

I have worked at Respond in London for almost 11 years and am employed as a consultant forensic psychotherapist. Respond is an organisation that provides assessment and treatment services for children and adults with intellectual disabilities who have experienced abuse and/or who have abused others...

Lucy Adamson, Chartered Forensic Psychologist, Jackie O’Connell, Senior Occupational Therapist, Carol Reffin, Highly Specialist Speech and Language Therapist, Anne McLean, Chartered Consultant Clinical Forensic Psychologist work with St. Andrews’s Health Care Service. Caroline Power, Chartered Forensic Psychologist, works with Oaktree Manor, a low-security service for adult males & females with learning disabilities. The authors have a wide range of experience working with adolescents who display sexually harmful behaviour.

It is important to acknowledge when working with young people who have engaged in sexually harmful behaviour (SHB), that we cannot automatically apply what we know about adult sexual offending to young people, and equally what we know about young people and sexuality will not always fit for young people with Developmental Disabilities (DD). The term DD is used here as an umbrella term to incorporate intellectual disabilities and Autism...

by Siobhán Kane, Communications & Information Manager

Two reports on Disability Allowance (DA) and Domiciliary Care Allowance (DCA) were commissioned following plans announced in the December 2011 Budget, which included proposed cuts to DA for young adults aged 18-24, and raising the qualifying age for DA from 16 to 18. Both proposals were paused pending reviews...

by Siobhán Nic Coitir, Senior Counselling Psychologist/Intern Forensic Psychologist & Patrick Randall, Director, Forensic Psychological Services highlight the need for more specialists with experience of intellectual disability within the criminal justice system...

Forensic Psychological Services (FPS) provides clinical and forensic services to organisations and to individuals in the public and private sectors. Referrals to FPS are made by the HSE, the gardaí, legal and medical professions, the courts, therapeutic services, professional bodies and individual clients. FPS provides psychological assessments, risk assessments, victim impact statements, parenting capacity assessments, expert witness testimony in family, civil and criminal courts, and individual and group psychotherapy.