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Deaf Link

Making probation services more accessible


A project to help facilitate genuine access to probation services and contribute to better outcomes for Deaf people.

Deaf people often face multiple barriers within the Criminal Justice System and may be more likely to struggle to reintegrate into society once they leave prison.

Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) is striving to ensure equality of access to probation services. HMPPS has put in place a number of measures to do this, including this new Deaf Link Project in Cumbria, Cheshire, Lancashire and Merseyside or Greater Manchester.

Project Introduction

Funded by an HMPPS Innovations Grant that has been awarded to SignHealth, Deaf people in probation services within the North West and Greater Manchester regions can be offered a Deaf Link worker. This project is for people who use BSL or similar and may identify themselves as culturally Deaf*.

It is an excellent opportunity to facilitate genuine access to probation services. The project aims to improve outcomes for Deaf people under Probation Service supervision, including working with people prior to release from prison and in Approved Premises. This regional project aims to test out a concept that if successful could potentially be offered nationally.

How it works

The Deaf Link worker will work closely with the Probation Practitioners (PP) to:

  • Ensure full understanding between the PP and the Deaf person
  • Supporting the Deaf person to engage with the PP
  • Providing consultation to the PP to improve their skills and knowledge related to working with Deaf people
  • Acting as a resource to advise on Deaf Culture, community and challenges

The Deaf Link Worker does not replace the need for an interpreter.

Are you working with a Deaf person on probation?

If you are a Probation Practitioner working with someone who could benefit from this service in Cumbria, Cheshire, Lancashire or Merseyside or Greater Manchester, please apply for the assistance of a Deaf Link worker.

For more information about the Deaf Link Project please email samantha.pearsall@signhealth.cjsm.net.

*Please note that this service is not for people who have lost their hearing in adulthood.