The needs of people with mild learning disabilities within the Scottish criminal justice system: a qualitative study of healthcare perspectives

Fellex Mediseni*, Michael Brown

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Purpose – The Purpose of this paper is to identify and explore the views and experiences of specialist learning disability (LD) health service professionals regarding the management of and support offered to people with LD when they come into contact with the Scottish criminal justice system (CJS). 

Design/methodology/approach – A qualitative design was adopted for this study due to the limited existing evidence in the area and the need to start to build and develop understanding of the phenomena under study. A purposive sampling procedure was used to select participants from an accessible population within one Scottish NHS Health Literature review, qualitative research, semi-structured interviews and thematic analysis. 

Findings – The findings identified three key themes challenges in practice; the need for additional resources; and the ability of services to provide management and support. 

Originality/value – The findings serve to contribute to the understanding of the role and contributions made by and required from specialist LD health services to manage and support people with LD in the Scottish CJS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)175-186
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Intellectual Disabilities and Offending Behaviour
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 2015



  • Communication difficulties
  • Criminal justice system
  • Learning disabilities
  • Mental health tribunal
  • Multidisciplinary teams
  • Support management

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