Mental Health, Autism & Learning Disabilities in the Criminal Courts

Information for magistrates, district judges and court staff

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a. Co-morbidity

Co-morbidity is the term used to describe people who experience more than one condition. This is extremely common amongst people who offend. For example, someone might have learning disabilities and mental health conditions. Many people with mental health conditions or learning disabilities also have communication difficulties.

The most comprehensive study, which dates back to 1998, says that ‘more than 70% of the prison population has two or more mental health disorders’ (Office for National Statistics, 1998).

Guy Green Woman

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