Friday, November 24, 2017

Frontline Issue 91

The Court System

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...

GIVING EVIDENCE

Imagine for a moment that you are the decision maker in some kind of hearing, for example, a court case. You’re part of the jury and hear the following exchange between the Judge and the witness giving evidence...

PEOPLE WITH INTELLECTUAL DISABILITIES AND SEXUALLY ABUSIVE BEHAVIOUR

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)...

SOME PERTINENT ISSUES WHEN PARENTS WITH AN INTELLECTUAL DISABILITY INTERACT WITH THE COURTS

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)...

WORKING WITH PEOPLE WHO HAVE COGNITIVE DIFFICULTIES WITHIN THE IRISH PRISON SERVICE

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...

INTELLECTUAL DISABILITY AND THE LAW IN 21st CENTURY IRELAND: SOME PRACTICAL CASES TO CONSIDER

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...

‘HEAR NO EVIL, SPEAK NO EVIL, SEE NO EVIL’: IRELAND’S FAILURE TO CALL A CRIME A CRIME

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...

Respond & forensic psychotherapy

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...

Sexuality and Adolescents with Developmental Disabilities

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...

News from Inclusion Ireland

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...