Scots with autism less likely to be ‘locked’ up’ than those in England

The Herald Health Correspondent wonders:

Why are we locking up people with learning disabilities and autism?

My immediate reaction would be ‘to be protected ‘ or ‘to protect the public?

Out of sample of 2458 prisoners across the UK, only 106 (4% as opposed to 1.9% across Scotland) were in Scotland.

Only those assessed as being a risk to themselves or to others have been placed in residential units. A unknown number have placed in psychiatric wards.

England with 10 times the population, appears to be incarcerating far more than the 1 060 you expect if all things were equal. Scotland. 4% of that is 42.


3 thoughts on “Scots with autism less likely to be ‘locked’ up’ than those in England

  1. Scotlands record on services for autism is woeful. There are zero services available for those with complex needs and very little in appropriate accommodation. I met with Nicola on her first day in office as FM , as a representative in a group of carers, we discussed this very topic but sadly things have not moved forward


    1. I’m afraid that assertions on ANY subject which deploy terms such as ‘woeful’ and ‘zero’ now – AS A MATTER OF COURSE – cause me to react with scepticism! A quick online search convinces it is right to be so on this subject too, even tho’ it is one with which I have little familiarity.

      There are clearly many professionals in the public and third sector and elsewhere working to provide – and indeed trying to improve – support services. Intuitively, ‘woeful’ seems inappropriately harsh given their efforts, their dedication. and their impacts.

      Also, the independent evaluation of the Scottish Government’s autism strategy (published in 2021) was not a glowing report but from my quick read, it was VERY FAR from concluding that matters were ‘woeful’ or that ‘things have not moved forward’ in Scotland.

      Could services be – need to be – better? OK, I can accept that. But ‘woeful’ as a generalised description?

      I considered letting this pass but – and I wish to say this ‘gently’ – I am fed up with assertions that amount to ‘easy’ denigration: it happens too often in relation to life in Scotland.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Another Labour party legacy. Sadly some people with very severe autism do have to be taken into secure units and it’s tragic. There are not enough facilities to properly house those who need round the clock care. The Herod should concentrate on doing some research into why there are not enough specific care facilities for people with autism because it will reveal disgraceful neglect over a very long time. Now with the Scottish government having to mitigate so Tory austerity on a lowered budget set by the English government, the cost of building specific care homes and staffing them will just not be possible. Only when families and carers cannot manage to look after an adult with severe autism is it necessary to have the person housed in a psychiatric hospital. People with learning disabilities, not so sure about ‘locking them up’ but when other factors are taken into account, such as severe depression, sometimes care in the community is no longer appropriate.

    There are many organisations, care and social care, the NHS, psychiatric doctors, as well as carers and family members, involved when a person cannot be safely looked after in their home or community. It’s not an easy process and very difficult distressing decisions have to be taken, and those decisions are not taken lightly.

    Another SNP bad attempt by the Herod, disgraceful propaganda.


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