Sex Offender Treatment for hearing impaired offenders

Report
Helen O’Connor
Forensic Psychologist in Training
HMP Whatton



I am no expert!! (Sorry!)
Learned British Sign Language 2007-2009
Started working with deaf offenders April
2012



You may never have come across a deaf
offender in your services...
But, 1 in 6 of the UK population (about 10
million people) are deaf or hearing impaired.
So odds are you will sooner or later, whether
in custody or ‘on the out’.



Different types of deafness – profoundly deaf,
deafened, hard of hearing
Different types of communication – British
Sign Language (BSL), Sign Supported English
(SSE), lip reading.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pqNl6Tc7
0M0





Four group members instead of usual 8/9.
Three experienced facilitators with BSL
qualifications (rota basis).
Four non-facilitator professional BSL
interpreters (rota basis).
Three sessions a week instead of 4/5.
Manual – piloting the new Becoming New Me
programme (combines BNM and Adapted
Better Lives Booster).




It might take a bit longer than a hearing
group.
It’ll be fine, just deliver as normal but with
translators because they will need to sign.
They’re not Intellectually Disabled so will be
able to read at least if there are tricky bits.
I’ll really enjoy this experience!







Pictorial basis – visual like their language.
Lots of role-play, walk & talk...
More concrete, less abstract concepts than
core SOTP.
Display drawings around the room –visual
memory prompts.
Processing speed.
Limited vocabulary needed.
New manual combines BNM and booster.





Deaf awareness, deaf culture.
Experienced in BNM programme – flexible,
adapting material further, responsive.
Signing at times – build rapport, therapeutic
alliance.
Knowing what’s lost in translation....“that’s a
really interesting point and I’m glad you’ve
raised it. We’ll be talking about that later in
the session so hold onto it so we can discuss
it more when we get to that part of session”
Socratic vs. direct.







Turn-taking difficulties.
Inexperienced in group environment.
Lack of knowledge about programmes, the
prison regime, probation....
Talk about themselves – a lot!
Discrimination – deaf vs. hearing.
Being succinct – does not exist!
Will not challenge each other.







Qualified – lots claim to be but aren’t (level 6)
Boundaries – who’s asking the question.
Need to prepare sessions together.
Discuss aims – so not misinterpreted/set up
wrong.
Work as team – they are not just your translators.
Interact during session and discuss how to
translate a concept.
Debrief after session together.
Wealth of knowledge – treatment needs vs. deaf
culture, popular culture, abstract vs. concrete,
rote learning without understanding the concept
underneath.





Concepts are too abstract – but if you give
examples they rigidly stick to them.
Balance between socratics & directness.
Recording their work – cannot/not confident
to write in English, doesn't mean they want to
draw either.
Some things do not translate – they do not
recognise these words.
Some signs are based on English concepts –
requires knowledge of hearing world which
they may not have.




Offence accounts – there are only four group
members.
In focus twice a week, little
consolidation/thinking time, see little shift,
draining for group and facilitators by
revisiting so often, don’t get to see 7/8 other
good examples only 3, don't see a variety of
different stages of responsibility taking &
shift.
All child offenders in this group – no
challenging from each other.
Feelings – don't have the vocabulary/signs for
them. Very restricted to angry, sad, happy.







Empathy - Don’t really understand it so appear
self centred.
Staying focussed – because you get ‘chapter &
verse’ its hard to keep them focussed – use a lot
of time lines and walk & talk.
Rewording – manual is too English based for deaf
offenders, lots of rewording.
I.e. risk areas ‘sexual preference for children’
becomes ‘fancy children’.
‘Sexual preoccupation’ = ‘think sex, sex, sex’.
‘Preferring sex to include violence or force’ =
‘sexy hit, punch, kick, hold’
There is no sign for violence as an all
encompassing term – individual actions have to
used. There is a sign for prefer but our group did
not understand it.




Very slow – wait for them to sign, then
interpreted, you process, you answer, that’s
interpreted, they process, they sign, that’s
interpreted....
Deskilled & lose power by going through
interpreter – you don’t know if its being
translated right.
Your carefully selected words for ultimate
impact – lost in translation!
Power of socratics/cognitive dissonance – lost
in translation!





Resilience – reduces dramatically!
Lack of empathy + apparent lack of remorse
(because so direct) + feeling powerless to
modify entrenched beliefs = hardest group!
Graphic descriptions of offence, signs for
sexual acts, their language/lip patterns.
Facilitators miss having the level of rapport
you can build with a hearing group.
Rudeness – deaf people can appear rude due
to their directness.



Preoccupied with their problems – no other
arena to discuss so bring it to group,
everyday!
Lose of genuine empathy – going through
interpreter reduces rapport & adds distance –
this impacts on empathy levels.
Stimulus overload






What is she saying?
Is that what she really means?
Has she understood what we’re asking?
Do we need to do a demonstration/example?
How does this relate to risk?
Does she understand how it relates to risk?








Get to be VERY creative!
Artistic licence - Fun!
Learn to think on your feet – less abstract.
Knowing you’re helping people access
treatment who wouldn’t otherwise.
Ground breaking.
Learn to manage difficult group dynamics.
New communication skills.
Skills at working with interpreters.








Same interpreter & facilitator group.
If not, deaf awareness training.
Selection criteria.
Assessments.
Session style.
Programme changes.
Time & resources.
Evaluation – due February 2013.


Please contact me for any further information.
[email protected]

similar documents