News & Features

Justice System Failing Some Disabled People

Posted in General News on Wednesday, July 15th, 2020

Following its inquiry into the criminal justice system the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) concluded that it is failing people on the autistic spectrum, those with brain injuries and those with learning disabilities. The EHRC’s report indicates that when people with any of these conditions are accused, the correct adjustments are not always made to allow them to participate in the justice process. Furthermore a number of legal professionals haven’t had the training they need to enable them to carry out their roles effectively when they are working on these cases. The EHRC also found that there are a disproportionate amount of people with learning disabilities and mental health conditions within the criminal justice system and this is something that the government has failed to document.

The report highlights that the criminal justice system has become increasingly digitised meaning that those with learning difficulties and mental health conditions could find it more difficult to communicate effectively and comprehend the process as a whole. The EHRC believes that reverting back to a more personal approach will improve the system for everybody, not just disabled people. The EHRC made a number of recommendations in its report and these included making sure the data relating to disabled people in the criminal justice system is regularly monitored and analysed, making sure that law student training includes disability awareness and that it is a continued professional requirement of working in criminal law.

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