Thursday, September 10, 2015

Estimates of the number of youth with disabilities in prison run as high as 70-100% (Leone, Zaremba, Chapin, & Iseli, 1995; Russell & Stewart, 2001

Disability Studies Quarterly
Summer 2005, Volume 25, No. 3
Copyright 2005 by the Society
for Disability Studies

"There Is No Treatment Here:"
Disability and Health Needs In A State Prison System
Phil Smith, Ed.D.
Eastern Michigan University
Special Education
110 Porter
Ypsilanti, Michigan 48197 

Prisoners With Learning Disabilities: "I Am Illertereate"
Nationally, 70% of federal and state prisoners fell in the lowest two of five literacy skill levels, putting them substantially lower than the literacy skill level of the general population (Haigler, Harlow, O'Connor, & Campbell, 1994). According to this national report,
These prisoners are apt to experience difficulty in performing tasks that require them to integrate or synthesize information from complex or lengthy texts or to perform quantitative tasks that involve two or more sequential operations and that require the individual to set up the problem (Haigler, Harlow, O'Connor, & Campbell, 1994, p.xviii).
....According to the Vermont Department of Corrections (2000), 95% of youth under the age of 22, incarcerated in adult facilities, lacked high school diplomas. Of these, about half (48% of the total) had some kind of special education history in school. And incarcerated youth rank in the bottom 20% when tested in basic skills, including reading, written language, and math. In spite of these statistics, the number of student hours in organized instruction programs through the Vermont Department of Corrections actually dropped between 1995 and 1999. Nationally, 75% of inmates in state facilities had not completed high school (Harlow, 2003).
In the study reported here, inmates throughout the Vermont correctional system said they had learning disabilities, describing them in a variety of ways:
- I was in speshal education since I was 6 years old and even was placed in a speshal JR hie scool
-My IQ is not very high.
-I have dyslexia... I was doing really good with those problems in writing and speeking.
-girstmen's syndrom or discraphia.
-I was diagnosed with a learning disability when I was tested at age 11.
-dislexia/mind thinks backwards.
-Yes I am dislexic wich stops me from learning normal. 

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