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Police, prison and youth justice system and stammering

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Last updated 1st August 2013 (part update 11th January 2020).


Police will normally be subect to Equality Act 2010, either under the rules on public functions (eg as regards questioning a suspect, or arresting someone) or on provision of services. It will not generally matter which rules apply.

ZH v The Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis, Court of Appeal, February 2013
An autistic boy had become ‘stuck’ at the side of a swimming pool, and jumped into the water when approached by police. He ended up being restrained by the police, and put in the cage at the back of a police van. The Court of Appeal upheld a decision that the police had failed to make reasonable adjustments,in breach of disability discrimination legislation. The police should have consulted the boy’s carers from the school (at least one carer was present the whole time), to inform themselves properly before taking any action which led to the application of force. Their treatment of him was also in breach of human rights law.

Some links aimed at police officers:

I have a separate page on Appearing in court.

Prison and youth justice system

Prisons, Young Offenders Institutions and the like are similarly subject to the duties of the Equality Act 2010. An example on hearing loss: Leigh Day succeeds in prisoner disability claim (leighday.co.uk), August 2011.

A key problem is lack of speech and language therapy provision in these institutions, especially since addressing communication needs may well help a person’s successful reintegration into society. As regards young offenders, “a 2015 study has shown that up to 60% of young people in the youth justice system have speech, language and communication needs”: Equal Treatment Bench Book 2018 p2.7, linked at Appearing in court>Equal Treatment Bench Book.

Teletherapy has been used to provide speech therapy to a prisioner who stammers:

I have a separate page on Appearing in court.

More links on prisons and youth justice system:

20th anniversary of stammeringlaw, 1999-2019