Youth Custody: Learning Disability

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 16th June 2015.

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Photo of Dan Jarvis Dan Jarvis Shadow Minister (Justice)

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many young people held in youth custody have been identified as having learning difficulties.

Photo of Andrew Selous Andrew Selous Assistant Whip (HM Treasury), The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

The needs of young people entering custody are often complex.

Data is not held centrally on the total number of young people in custody who have been identified as having learning difficulties. Data is available, however, on the number of young people in custody who have been identified by their Youth Offending Team (YOT) as having a “learning disability or difficulty including Special Educational Needs (SEN)”.

Table 1 shows that of the 1,125 young people in youth custody on 1 May 2015, 340 (30%) were identified by the YOT as having a “learning disability or difficulty including SEN”.

Table 1: Number of young people in youth custody on 1 May 2015 identified by the YOT as having a "learning disability or difficulty including SEN".

Young people identified as having a “Learning disability or difficulty including SEN”

Yes

340

No

733

Don’t Know

37

Missing

15

Total

1,125

Notes:

1. The report includes 18 year olds in youth custody on the snapshot dates.

2. This data only captures young people identified as having a “learning disability or difficulty including SEN” at the point they entered custody and does not include young people identified after they entered custody.

3. The data is from the monthly eAsset Data Extract report which includes data on Key Placement Factors. Data is extracted on the 1st of each month or the closest Friday where the 1st falls on a weekend. This is an operational report and therefore its integrity is not as high as publishable data.

Measures introduced in the Children and Families Act 2014 to strengthen support for young people in custody with special educational needs came into effect in April 2015. A home local authority maintaining an Education Health and Care Plan for a young person must arrange the special educational provision set out in the Plan for the young person while they are detained, and a custodial establishment or the detained person or parent can request a local authority to undertake an Education Health and Care assessment while a young person is detained. The custodial establishment must co-operate with local authorities to make sure these duties are fulfilled while a young person is in custody.

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