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Monday, 11 July 2016

IPP INQUEST Senior Coroner raises concerns about the unmet mental health needs of prisoners serving IPP sentence,.and has asked the Prisons Minister to take action to prevent future deaths.





HM Senior Coroner Peter Dean heard the inquest into the death of Steven Trudgill, a 23 year old who died at HMP Highpoint. The inquest concluded on 24 May 2016, after two and a half weeks of evidence. Steven was found hanging in his cell by a prison officer on 9 January 2014 and died shortly after. The jury conclusion was suicide.
 HMC Peter Dean has now issued a Prevention of Future Death report to the Prisons Minister expressing his concerns about the mental health needs of prisoners serving IPP sentences.
Steven was a vulnerable young person, with longstanding mental health problems. He was remanded into custody when he was 18 and subsequently transferred 4 times to different prisons. He began to self harm whilst in custody and had been subject to prison suicide and self-harm preventions procedures on numerous occasions throughout his detention, including at HMP Highpoint where he was transferred in December 2013, shortly before his death.

The inquest heard that Steven was ‘stuck’ in the system. He was serving an IPP, and was several years past the minimum term which had been set by the sentencing judge. As with all indeterminate sentenced prisoners, Steven could only be released by the Parole Board. However whilst in prison, Steven was finding it extremely difficult to progress. The family heard evidence at the inquest that the mental health support Steven  received was inadequate: Steven had a history of self harm, he was being prescribed medication without any clear diagnosis or treatment plan, and had been seriously destabilised by the unexpected closure of HMP Blundeston and his transfer between two successive prisons immediately before Christmas 2013. He was very anxious about his forthcoming Parole Board review which had been delayed.

 At HMP Highpoint Steven spoke to staff about his thoughts of suicide, including one lengthy conversation two days before his death, but there were problems in passing key information about risks between prison staff.
The Coroner has warned the Prison’s Minister that action needs to be taken to reduce the risk of other IPP prisoners dying in similar circumstances in the future.  He has reported his concern that there are other vulnerable prisoners still on IPP’s, who are at significant risk of continuing self harm due to the prison system being inadequate to meet their needs. 

He noted the infrequent nature of Parole Board hearings, occurring only every two or three years, as the only means of assessing whether the prisoner should be released, as well as the lack of availability of specific treatments for complex mental health needs which may be the cause of continued risk resulting in extended detention. The Coroner has called on the Prisons Minister to consider assessing all prisoners currently still within the prison service on IPP’s to see if they have mental health needs more appropriately managed with the mental health service rather than the prison service.

The Prison’s Minister is due to respond in August, at which point the report and the response will be published.
IPP sentences were abolished by the Legal Aid Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act in 2013 following widespread concern that they had been misused by over-cautious judges and there were now thousands of prisoners stuck in the system without release date, or the means by which they could demonstrate their readiness for release.
 People serving an IPP have one of the highest rates of self-harm in the prison system.  For every 1,000 people serving an IPP there were 550 incidents of self-harm. This compares with 324 incidents for people serving a determinate sentence, and is more than twice the rate for people serving life sentences.

Steven’s mother Jennie Buckle said:
“Steven’s family are disappointed that after 3 weeks of evidence the jury took just 1½ hours to come to a conclusion.  We are shocked and saddened that despite evidence given under oath showing that mistakes were made, the jury chose to ignore this. 

We take comfort that since Steven’s sad death a number of new practices have been implemented at HMP Highpoint to help prevent future deaths.
We are also glad that the Senior Coroner for Suffolk, Dr Peter Dean, has recognised that despite IPP sentences being abolished there are still prisoners on IPP sentences serving time above their tariff that could be vulnerable to mental health issues. 

 We are very pleased with the Prevention of Future Death Report that he has written to the Prisons Minister requesting changes be made to the current system that failed Steven.  The aim of this proposal would be to ensure that the appropriate level and form of mental healthcare can be provided to prisoners serving IPP sentences  in the most suitable environment in order to manage their underlying condition and reduce the risk of suicide, reduce future risk to the public and provide care that might enable them to be more safely released in future, while still providing current public protection by virtue of the security of the unit.
We hope and pray that the new practices are followed and don’t just become a “tick box exercise”.  
The only way to help prevent future deaths is to make real changes and give people the help and care needed.”
Deborah Coles, Executive Director of INQUEST said:
“INQUEST welcomes the report of the Senior Coroner for Suffolk Dr Peter Dean. The statistics for self harm of prisoners serving IPP sentences are truly shocking and while it was a positive step that such sentences were abolished, changes must be made urgently to ensure the safety and protection of those still serving IPP sentences within the prison system.”
INQUEST has been working with the family of Steven Trudgill since 2014. The family is represented by INQUEST Lawyers Group member Sara Lomri from Bindmans solicitors and Jesse Nicholls from Doughty Street Chambers.http://www.inquest.org.uk/media/pr/senior-coroner-raises-concerns-about-the-unmet-mental-health-needs-of-priso



Katherine Gleeson
Mental Health  /Discrimination 

Those with Dyslexia or other are not getting the accommodation or support to go forward in the system moreover i feel this is a human rights violation.

Lets first start by defining the term vulnerable of a person) in need of special care, support, or protection because of age, disability, or risk of abuse or neglect:
A person in need of special care, support or protection. For the purposes of this article we will be referring to those who have a Specific Learning Difficulty such as Dyslexia, Dyscalculia and those who have or suspected of having a Nuerodevelopmental Condition such as Asperger’s Autism.

Prison hearings make heavy demands on language skills – both receptive and expressive – and require an ability to process information reasonably quickly and efficiently. Reliable memory, sequencing abilities and concentration are also necessary. All these areas fall within the profiles associated with Specific Learning Difficulties
 ADHD ADD. Vulnerable people include those who are young, those who have experienced trauma, those with autism spectrum disorder, attention deficit (hyperactivity) disorder ADHD, ADD, mental health needs, specific learning difficulties and deafness, as well as older people and those with physical disabilities or health conditions which may negatively affect their ability to effectively participate in the trial process.

Dyslexia is identified as a disability as defined in the Equality Act 2010. Dyslexia and related Specific Learning Difficulties are the most common disability to be encountered in the Justice System. As ‘Hidden Disabilities’ they are the least understood and can give rise to significant disadvantages in police and legal settings, even leading to miscarriages of justice.

 Dyslexia ADHD/ADD. Signs of Attention Deficit (Hyperactivity) Disorder include inattention, restlessness, impulsivity, erratic, unpredictable and inappropriate behaviour, blurting out inappropriate comments or interrupting excessively. Some people come across unintentionally as aggressive. Most fail to make effective use of feedback. Behaviour is often misinterpreted and misunderstood.There are three main difficulties called the Triad of Impairments.


The impact of specific learning difficulties Prison  setting

The following problem areas have been reported by people with Specific Learning Difficulties who have experience of court or tribunal proceedings:

a build up of stress, due to long delays at the hearing
impossibility of following the cut and thrust of court exchanges
difficulty coping with oblique, implied and compound questions
difficulties giving accurate answers relating to dates, times or place names
problems providing consistent information on sequences of actions
inability to find the place in a mass of documentation, as directed
coping with a room full of strangers in unfamiliar settings
maintaining concentration and focus
an experience of sensory overload from the lights, bustle and distractions.

In addition, concerns were expressed about how their behaviour might be perceived: inconsistencies would imply untruthfulness; failure to grasp the point of a question could come across as evasive; lack of eye contact could be mis-interpreted as being ‘shifty’ and an over-loud voice might be regarded as aggressive. The overriding worry was that a loss of credibility would occur when they did not ‘perform’ as expected.


If you have a confirmed diagnosis or are suspected of having these conditions you need to make your legal team aware at the earliest stages. They must inform the other parties. The PAROLE HEARING must be made aware of your difficulties as this makes you vulnerable. To be able to fully participate in proceedings the court must make reasonable adjustments for you.


Disabled prisoner victory 12 October 2009. Victory in prisoner disability discrimination case forces Prison Service rethink on disability issues 28 January 2008.https://www.leighday.co.uk/Asserting-your-rights/Human-rights/Prisoner-rights/Prisoners-and-discrimination

Recall washing machine
 
HUNDREDS of IPP prisoners with differences are faced with the plight of RECALL and of the vulnerable parents unable to pay the cost appeal since there is no legal aid . Those with these types of differences have frequent difficulties with time keeping , misunderstanding ,getting the date and time wrong, turn up on wrong day get the tine wrong, missing appointments but continual being recalled for silly reasons. more leeway needs given for those with differences s AND training for all staff working with those who have nor-logical difficulties

People with a learning disability are individuals first and foremost and each has a right to be treated as an equal citizen…courts or prison must take all steps possible to ensure that people with a learning disability are able to actively participate in decisions affecting their lives.

Too narrow a focus the prisons accompanying failure to address his’ needs arising from their disability which might impact adversely on the length of sentence.
Prisons must also take steps to ensure there are no barriers to justice within the process itself. That staff must recognise those with learning disabilities need extra time with solicitors so that everything can be carefully explained to them…The process necessarily has to be slowed down to give such parents a better chance to understand and participate.

All parts of the Family justice system should take care as to the language and vocabulary that is utilised

The hearing judge or other should conduct a case management hearing to identify his difficulties and what reasonable adjustments he needs and who will assist him in parole.
i could possible look at disblity solicitor and go down the road of failure to make reasonable adjust leading to a longer sentence.failure by to deal with his cognitive deficits and vulnerabilities. It has been widly know if you by agency those with disablitys spend double the time this practice must end.A solicitors r must be able to assist client and often many solicitors are failing them or not advising them of who they could seek. solicitors to are expected to make reasonable adjustments to remove barriers for people with disabilities.

""""The basic principle is that if you come under the category of vulnerable when in prison you are entitled to a fair hearing. Article 6 of the human rights act is the right to a fair hearing. The right to a fair trial is fundamental to the rule of law and to democracy itself.""""

You are entitled to reasonable adjustments so that you are able to fully participate during the hearing.
You are entitled to a registered intermediary to assist you throughout the hearing. poor memory poor prosseing visual-spatial organization, receptive and expressive language, phonology, attention, Hearing impairmen auditory processing disorders known as brain deafness different from a hearing deafness,complex process—picking up sound and attaching meaning to it. You have to have normal intelligence to have Dyslexia below is handycape so they are kept back from those who misunderstand as those with dyslexia can came across as been evasive and this in see written in the physiologist resorts staff and in hearing displaying they are not experienced enough or able to spot that its not being evasive there trying to recall this is p[art of the disablity poor memory to recall and in time without looging as though your bee evasive. i Know i too have dyslexia dyspraxia with overlaps i also founder of one of the biggest dyslexia groups in the UK on Facebook called Dyslexia increase awareness and understanding.


Court hearings make heavy demands on language skills – both receptive and expressive – and require an ability to process information reasonably quickly and efficiently. Reliable memory, sequencing abilities and concentration are also necessary. All these areas fall within the profiles associated with Specific Learning Difficulties.

 impact of specific learning difficulties in a Probation setting or visiting a physiologist

The following problem areas have been reported by people with Specific Learning Difficulties who have experience of court or tribunal proceedings:

a build up of stress, due to long delays at the hearing
impossibility of following the cut and thrust of court exchanges
difficulty coping with oblique, implied and compound questions
difficulties giving accurate answers relating to dates, times or place names
problems providing consistent information on sequences of actions
inability to find the place in a mass of documentation, as directed
coping with a room full of strangers in unfamiliar settings
maintaining concentration and focus
an experience of sensory overload from the lights, bustle and distractions.

In addition, concerns were expressed about how their behaviour might be perceived: inconsistencies would imply untruthfulness; failure to grasp the point of a question could come across as evasive; lack of eye contact could be mis-interpreted as being ‘shifty’ and an over-loud voice might be regarded as aggressive. The overriding worry was that a loss of credibility would occur when they did not ‘perform’ as expected.
 Devastating  failings
.It is a well documented  those with  disabilitys spend double the time in prison than then there counter parts and you have to ask yourself why?  it is not an  excuse to say i have little or know  knowledge of a those disability when you are not qualified in making  reports that are effect others life,s and outcome. 
 First you must have understand  are they  discriminating but not having the want know what accommodations to give them and are failing them going forward. i have received hundreds of emails from family of those with dyslexa or other held for numbers of years denied  accommodation their are  which needs a full investigation.  Founder katherine Gleeson of Dyslexia group increase awareness and understanding gleesohttps://www.facebook.com/groups/bowde/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B2sXwd_J4e8

Disabled prisoner victory 12 October 2009. Victory in prisoner disability discrimination case forces Prison Service rethink on disability issues 28 January 2008.https://www.leighday.co.uk/Asserting-your-rights/Human-rights/Prisoner-rights/Prisoners-and-discrimination


https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/Documents/Advice%20factsheets/Prisoners/p-discrimination-in-prison.pdf


Prisoners' Rights - Fisher Meredith Solicitors
www.fishermeredith.co.uk/site/personal/police-prison-law-solicitors/prisoner-rights/
Fisher Meredith s prison law solicitors can advise and represent prisoners in a range of areas. ... Cases linked to visiting rights; Disability (on grounds of race, disability or other ... The nature of your issue will determine the approach we take.http://www.fishermeredith.co.uk/site/personal/police-prison-law-solicitors/prisoner-rights/

Sinclairslaw: Specialist Legal help for everyone
http://www.scope.org.uk/Support/Disabled-people/local-advice/Legal-help
http://www.gov.scot/resource/doc/346993/0115487.pdf


Expert witness work | Dyslexia Assessment & Consultancy
www.workingwithdyslexia.com/legal-services/expert-witness-work/
Advise legal professionals on guidelines for accommodations which should be made for dyslexic people in court, as specified in the Judge's Equal Treatment ...


Protecting human rights
http://www.fishermeredith.co.uk/site/personal/police-prison-law-solicitors/human-rights-issues/


Information book for prisoners with a disability
Notice areas absent IPP AND DISABLITY ALONG WITH HUMANS RIGHTS YOU HAVE TO QUESTION ?
http://www.prisonreformtrust.org.uk/Publications/Publicationcategories/Learningdisabilities


"" Use  Disability solicitor in criminal law who understands the difficulties those face with Autism Dyslexia Dyspraxia  or other.

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