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Learning disability and challenges in male prisons: programme screening evaluation
Journal of Intellectual Disabilities and Offending Behaviour  (IF),  Pub Date : 2019-12-03, DOI: 10.1108/jidob-09-2019-0017
Helen Wakeling, Laura Ramsay

The purpose of this paper is to validate the learning screening tool (LST) and the adapted functioning checklist-revised (AFC-R) as screening tools to aid programme allocation, and to investigate whether programme decision makers were using the tools as per the guidance provided by HMPPS Interventions Services.,LST and AFC-R data were gathered for 555 men who had been assessed for programmes between 2015 and 2018 across eight prisons and one probation area. WAIS-IV IQ data were also gathered if completed.,The findings provide support for the use of the LST, and AFC-R in helping to make decisions about programme allocation. The LST and AFC-R correlate well with each other, and a measure of intellectual functioning (WAIS-IV). Those who were allocated to learning disability or challenges (LDC) programmes scored higher on the LST (greater problems) and lower on the AFC-R (lower functioning) compared to those allocated to mainstream programmes. The LST had adequate predictive validity. In the majority of cases, the correct procedures were followed in terms of using the tools for programme allocation.,The sample size for examining the relationships between all three tools was limited. The research was also unable to take into consideration the clinical decision making involved in how the tools were interpreted.,This research contributes to the growing evidence about the effective use of LDC screening tools in forensic settings.