Prisoners with learning difficulties are not routinely identified before entering prison and once inside receive inadequate support and are more at risk of victimisation than other prisoners.
This was the verdict of a survey today of prison staff published this week by the Prison Reform Trust, as part of its No One Knows programme, which is designed to raise awareness of the difficulties faced by the group.
The survey, covering 177 staff in 74 prisons, revealed that most staff felt that information they received on new inmates was unlikely to identify their learning difficulties.
Seventy-seven per cent of staff said services should be provided for prisoners with learning difficulties that were not currently available, while just 10 per cent said they had a dedicated learning difficulties nurse. Fifty-seven per cent said prisoners with learning difficulties were more likely to be victimised than others.
People with learning difficulties neglected in jail, says Prison Reform Trust