Prisons, Young Offenders Institutions and the like are normally subject to the Equality Act 2010, under the rules on public functions.
Speech and language therapy for prisoners
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. Also a BBC news article from 2007: Communication skills ‘cut re-offending’ (BBC website).
Teletherapy via a video link has been used by Airedale NHS Foundation Trust (see Airedale Stammering Therapy Project) to provide speech therapy to a prisoner who stammers:
- “I love my own voice now which I hated before.” Why speech therapy is a necessity, not a luxury (airedalestammeringtherapy.wordpress.com), 2018,
- Speech therapy success in prison Part 1: Mark’s story (stamma.org), March 2016,
- Speech therapy in prison Part 2: the therapist’s view (stamma.org), June 2016,
- Speech therapy in prison Part 3: after my release (stamma.org), June 2020.
Link on prisoner rights, including discrimination and healthcare: Prisons (leighday.co.uk).
Some examples of claims by prisoners
- Ministry of Justice pays compensation to blind prisoner (leighday.co.uk), 2018;
- Deaf prisoner awarded damages after discrimination (leighday.co.uk), 2016;
- Victory in prisoner disability discrimination case forces Prison Service rethink on disability issues (leighday.co.uk), 2008.
Appearing in court
I have a separate page on Appearing in court.
More links on prisons and youth justice system:
- Sentence Trouble (Communications Trust) – a guide to help improve understanding and communication with children and young people with communication needs in and around the youth justice system
- Ex-prisoner is straightening things out (archive of stammering.org)
- Talking… a way out of trouble (pdf, archive of stammering.org) – article from Magistrate magazine, May 2011
- Prison Service Instruction (PSI) 2011-032: Ensuring Equality (England and Wales)
- Stammering in prison (archive of stammering.org), 2001.