Understanding the educational needs of young offenders: A prevalence study of traumatic brain injury and learning disabilities
Nkoana, W; Williams, H; Steenkamp, N; et al.Clasby, B; Knowler, H; Schrieff, L
Date: 22 August 2020
International Journal of Educational Development
Offenders in custody are often disadvantaged in terms of education. Research shows that providing and improving education in custody can help reduce the possibility of recidivism and high crime rates in young offenders. Among various factors that can impact on youth's ability to engage effectively with education in custody, prevalence ...
Offenders in custody are often disadvantaged in terms of education. Research shows that providing and improving education in custody can help reduce the possibility of recidivism and high crime rates in young offenders. Among various factors that can impact on youth's ability to engage effectively with education in custody, prevalence rates of neurodisabilities such as learning disabilities and traumatic brain injuries (TBI) remain high. Young offenders with neurodisabilities may present with various developmental, cognitive, intellectual, social functioning, language and communication deficits, that may impact on learner-teacher relationships and learning acquisition. For the purpose of this paper, we focused on learning disabilities and TBI given high prevalence rates for these neurodisabilities reported in the literature. We also report on general intellectual functioning given the association with specific learning disabilities. Despite contextual vulnerabilities, there is a dearth of literature on neurodisabilities and its associated impact on education for young offenders in South Africa. Our study sample included young offenders (n = 25) and controls (n = 56), aged 14–21 years. Measures of alcohol (AUDIT), substance use (MAP), learning disabilities and TBIs (CHAT), general intellectual functioning (WASI-II), and depression (BDI-II) were included for offenders and controls. Results show significant differences in TBI, alcohol use, substance use, and reported possible learning disabilities, with higher scores and rates for these factors, indicating poorer outcomes, in the young offender as compared to the control group. The young offender group also had significantly lower and therefore poorer verbal IQ (VIQ) scores than the control group. The results for VIQ were upheld even when the significant difference in age (young offenders were on average 5 years older) was controlled for. Results of this nature can potentially be used to inform rehabilitative efforts in our local youth centres for offenders in the hope of screening for various developmental and acquired neuro-disabilities so that rehabilitation strategies may be even more targeted for those with special education needs in of an already vulnerable population. Such results may also inform the schooling structures within such centres by providing profiles needs of offenders in custody based on screenings of neurodisabilities.
College of Social Sciences and International Studies
Item views 0
Full item downloads 0
Except where otherwise noted, this item's licence is described as © 2020. This version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/