‘I feel like I failed him by ringing the police’: Criminalising disability in Australia

Ruth McCausland and Eileen Baldry

People with mental and cognitive disability are over-represented in criminal justice systems. This article examines how people with mental and cognitive disability are being systematically criminalised in Australia, and argues for a reconstruction of the understanding of and response to people with these disabilities in the criminal justice system. Publication details for the article can be accessed here.

Intellectual disability and patient activation after release from prison: a prospective cohort study

J.T. Young, C. Cumming, K. van Dooren, N.G. Lennox, R. Alati, M.J. Spittal, L. Brophy, D.B. Breen & S.A. Kinner

This study published in the Journal of Intellectual Disability Research assessed the association between intellectual disability and patient activation, which is the level of knowledge, skills and confidence a person has in managing his/her own health and health care, of prisoners following prison release, and examined whether a diagnosis of intellectual disability prior to release affected this association.

A copy of the article is publicly available here.

New Victorian Research – Aboriginal prisoners and cognitive impairment: the impact of dual disadvantage on Social and Emotional Wellbeing

S. M. Shepherd, J. R. P. Ogloff, D. Shea, J. E. Pfeifer & Y. Paradies

A new Victorian study by researchers from Swinburne University of Technology and Deakin University seeks to determine the relationship between cognitive impairment and the Social Emotional Wellbeing (SEWB) needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in custody. A copy of the research report can be found here.

Transition from prison for people with intellectual disability: A qualitative study of service professionals

Jesse T Young, Kate van Dooren, Fernanda Claudio, Craig Cumming and Nick Lennox

People with intellectual disability face a range of challenges on their release from prison due both to their own needs and the complexity of the service delivery system, which can make executive service delivery difficult. This difficulty is exacerbated by the sometimes combative nature of relationships between service providers. These issues could be addressed, at least in part, by improved training and stricter guidelines for those working in the sector.

Representatives of disability and justice-related agencies in Queensland and Western Australia were interviewed for this research. The findings will be useful to policymakers and those who work in corrections, disability support and related sectors.

A full copy of the research report can be found here.

A Future Beyond the Wall: Improving post-release employment outcomes for people leaving prison

Engaging in meaningful work has been shown to reduce re-offending by ex-prisoners. However, few prison releasees in Australia or internationally gain employment, and successful pathways to employment for this group are poorly researched and understood. A Future Beyond the Wall is a three year project funded under the Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage Projects scheme that brings together key academics in the field, peak national bodies, correctional and employment organisations.

The rehabilitative role of ex-prisoners/offenders as peer mentors in reintegration models – in the UK, Republic of Ireland, Sweden and USA

In her role as a 2015 Churchill Fellow, Social Worker Claire Seppings 2443c742-381f-4d6c-956f-0c51e73b2c6d(pictured left) travelled to the UK, Republic of Ireland, Sweden and the USA investigating the rehabilitative role of ex-prisoners/offenders as peer mentors in reintegration models. You can read the report of Claire’s research here.

From Incarceration to Reentry: A look at Trends, Gaps, and Opportunities in Correctional Education and Training

Wayne Taliaferro, Duy Pham and Anna Cielinski, October 2016

A report from the US on research examining the important role played by correctional education and training in improving the educational and employment opportunities for people leaving prison. Read the report here.