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Prisons: Autism

Question for Ministry of Justice

UIN 76555, tabled on 20 July 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, if he will make it his policy to include the recording of autism in the Prison Population Statistics.

Answered on

1 September 2020

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) is committed to supporting all vulnerable people who come into contact with the criminal justice system, including individuals with autism. We recognise the importance of meeting the needs of this cohort, are therefore taking steps to improve the collection and recording of data on disability.

This includes ongoing work by HM Prisons and Probation Service (HMPPS) to implement a new data categorisation list which aligns with that used by the World Health Organisation and the Government Statistical Service on the new Prison National Offender Management Information System (new-NOMIS). This will provide a better structured and more intuitively organised list of conditions, allowing more accurate recording of disabilities and health conditions, including Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome. Improving this data will allow us to better understand and support the prison population and its individual needs, as well as enabling the identification of any disparity in outcomes. Once the categorisation has fully bedded into our systems and we have sufficient completion rates and data quality, we will aim to publish this within our annual Official Statistics report ‘Offender Equalities’.

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