Dyslexia on trial? (A study of dyslexia as a contributory cause of imprisonment)

Dean, Gabrielle (1995) Dyslexia on trial? (A study of dyslexia as a contributory cause of imprisonment). Masters thesis, University of Central Lancashire.

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This study takes twenty three case histories of men who were serving prison sentences in December 1994 in one prison in Lancashire. The interviews, while following the same basic structure of questions, were open-ended in the sense that the participants replied as they thought fit. Each interview lasted approximately one hour and with one exception was taped. On the basis of a study of these tapes schematic summaries of the interviews were compiled . (cf. appendix). The questions were diagnostic in nature and ranged over a man's complete life-history.
All the participants had experienced or were experiencing literacy difficulties. The object of the study was to explore the possibility of such difficulties being dyslexic in nature and to enquire whether these Specific Learning Difficulties may have been a partial cause, directly or indirectly, of their imprisonment.
The diagnosis revealed that all twenty three participants could be considered dyslexic in some measure, some severely. From discussions with the participants it emerged that seventeen acknowledged that their literacy problems had affected their lives. Twelve of these were convinced that their literacy difficulties were a direct causal factor in their imprisonment.
The conclusion is reached that there is a necessity for greater help for those at present undiagnosed and unremediated dyslexics particularly those who are serving a prison sentence. There is also a need for nationwide research into this
issue to bring about earlier diagnosis, more specialist remedial treatment and a greater awareness of the problems faced by those experiencing the dyslexic condition.

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