Deaf people with mental health needs in the criminal justice system: A review of the UK literature

A. Young, B. Monteiro, S. Ridgeway

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    In this paper the term Deaf is used of a group of people who use sign language, who come into contact with the criminal justice system in the UK, and for whom mental health needs are associated with their offending behaviour. It critically reviews the existing literature regarding evidence of the prevalence and characteristics of this group drawing on a range of contexts: prisons, high-security services, specialist mental health services, and the police and courts. Particular attention is paid to the relationship between deafness, sign language use, mental disorder and unfitness to plead. Also, consideration is given to the extent to which a limited range of linguistically appropriate disposals for deaf mentally disordered offenders may account for their twelve-times-higher prevalence in the high-security population than in the general population. Finally, the clinical characteristics of this population are discussed in relation to a range of psycho-social consequences of deafness and sign language use in the UK today.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)556-570
    Number of pages14
    JournalJournal of Forensic Psychiatry
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2000


    • BSL
    • Deaf
    • Deafness
    • Sign language


    Dive into the research topics of 'Deaf people with mental health needs in the criminal justice system: A review of the UK literature'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this