St Giles Trust - Supporting ex-offenders with 'hidden disabilities'
This case study looks at the support St Giles Trust provide to people in the criminal justice system with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and other disabilities. ASD is a lifelong condition which affects how a person communicates and makes sense of the world around them. Several aspects of life in prison such as artificially lit wings, noise from prisoners and staff, and sudden changes to routine through lock-downs can all increase someone’s stress and the problematic behaviour which results from it. In addition, the stark contrast between the institutionalised environment of custody and the world outside when released can worsen a person with ASD’s condition and make it difficult for them to cope. Given that the condition shapes every aspect of an individual’s life, flexible and highly-tailored support is needed if they are to successfully desist from crime and rebuild their lives.