It is well known that many caught up in the criminal justice system experience mental health difficulties. Consequently it is vital that the legal representative can understand the impact of mental disorder and ensure the vulnerable defendant is not disadvantaged in the proceedings.
From the outset of a case, the team at Allen Hoole works to identify those cases where mental capacity, illness or learning disability is an issue. This helps to ensure clients needing specialist support are allocated to caseworkers with particular knowledge and expertise of dealing with vulnerable individuals.
Over many years staff at Allen Hoole have learnt how best to deal with even the most challenging examples of mental disorder and learning disability. Our work takes us into secure psychiatric units and enables us to manage those experiencing major mental health or personality disorders, both informal patients and those detained under the Mental Health Act 1983. Our client group includes those suffering psychosis, schizophrenia, bi-polar disorder and depression. We also attend those in care homes and supported living placements struggling with conditions affecting mental capacity such as dementia and learning disability. Autism, Asperger’s and ADHD are often a factor in cases we deal with.
We understand the consistency and reassurance needed by our vulnerable client group. Also the importance of family and professional networks in providing support where required. We recognise the need to adapt our ways of communicating to ensure the client can best present their case.
With the assistance of access to medical records and expert reports, ultimately we can draw the attention of prosecutors and courts to issues such as fitness to plead/stand trial, diversion and sentence options. With the emphasis upon the need to make “reasonable adjustments” for vulnerable defendants, the courts are receptive to the approach and thoroughness with which we carry out our work.
If you require further information about our work or want to speak to one of our specialist team, please call us on 0117 942090.