Info

When our founder and CEO, Jackie Hewitt-Main, first planned to begin her first project at HMP Chelmsford, she tried to establish what percentage of prisoners had the condition commonly known as dyslexia or characteristics of dyslexia-related learning difficulties. She was told that this would be the same as the general population, namely about 10%. This did not correlate with the high numbers of prisoners she had talked with when doing her post-graduate dissertation.

This prompted her to carry out her own research to see if this estimate was correct. So when she started her first project, she undertook a study in which she interviewed all of the 2,029 offenders who were admitted to Chelmsford Prison in 2006-2007 and assessed all those who had difficulties with reading and writing..

The illuminating results of this study are detailed in her final report, entitled ‘Dyslexia Behind Bars’, which can be ordered from our shop page on this website.

A summary of interview and assessment findings

 

2,029 offenders

General Population

Dyslexia

53%

10%

Traumatic head injury, affecting learning

16%

1% – 2%

ADHD

17%

3% – 5%

Left school with no qualifications

48%

20%

Literacy skills below average 12 year-old

79%

24%

Had been in care

23%

1%

Kinaesthetic preferred learning style¹

54%

Estimated 10%

Offenders preferring 23/7 in cells, rather than attend education in classrooms²

60%

 

 

¹ Traditional education in prisons consists of lessons suited to those whose preferred learning styles are visual or auditory and rarely if at all to those with stronger kinaesthetic learning styles.

² Detailed discussions with these prisoners uncovered two main reasons:.

  • a morbid fear of classrooms, where they had always failed throughout their schooling
  • the unwillingness or embarrassment of many to admit they were unable to read or write.

These statistics give a dramatic overview of factors which may be responsible for offenders re-offending.(especially those who cannot fill in forms, read instructions, etc.)

To find out more about dyslexia, head-injury related learning difficulties and other hidden learning difficulties, click the links.

 

Zoom in Regular Zoom out

book

1306145460_facebook1306145457_twitteryou-tube