Virtual Speech Therapy Improves Prison Rehabilitation Programs

Virtual Speech Therapy Improves Prison Rehabilitation Programs

Great Speech has proudly been serving juvenile detention centers in Florida for over six years, providing online speech therapy conducted by licensed Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs) for a multitude of young people with speech and communication challenges. Today, the Great Speech team looks forward to serving adults in the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR).

Attending in-person speech therapy sessions may not be feasible for people who are incarcerated who want to rejoin society and become successful citizens following their sentence.  Online speech therapy allows people to receive speech therapy services from a qualified speech therapist using a computer or mobile device. 

“The ability to communicate effectively is an important part of everyday life for people of all ages who may have specific communication challenges,” says Avivit Ben-Aharon M.S. Ed, M.A. CCC-SLP, founder and clinical director, Great Speech “Whether it’s speaking more confidently in public, improving articulation or even addressing a life-long speech impediment. Great Speech is here to support anyone with communication goals in finding their voice.”

Rehabilitation Reduces Recidivism 

Many prison systems including CDCR offer inmates various rehabilitation programs while they are in prison, including education and substance use disorder treatment programs. The primary goal of these programs is that every offender released from prison will be prepared to reenter society as a productive, law-abiding citizen and to reduce recidivism—the number of inmates who reoffend after they are released from prison.

Speech therapy can help prisoners with a variety of speech problems, including stuttering, lisping, difficulty pronouncing certain words, voice disorders, such as pitch problems and volume issues, and more. This will help them improve their everyday life by improving interview skills to help them find and maintain a job and contribute to society following their sentence.  

Support for Juvenile Detention Centers

Young offenders in Juvenile Detention Centers (JDCs) may experience communication difficulties, many of which are undiagnosed communication disorders rather than behavioral problems. In countries such as England and Wales, where speech therapy services have been provided in JDCs, positive results have been reported with young offenders in both their rehabilitation and detention centers. SLPs can ensure that language impairments are identified and treated which will allow young offenders not only the chance to improve their ability to communicate, but also to improve their ability to advocate for their progress within the legal system. 

Without proper intervention, undiagnosed communication disorders may hinder juvenile offenders in their defenses and verbally mediated interventions. Children can be encouraged to communicate, whether it is with family, in the classroom, or through active socialization with their peers. Great Speech SLPs can conduct an assessment to understand the child’s communication difficulties, which can range from hearing loss to developmental issues. Then the speech therapist can identify goals and provide tools to help children gain the communication skills needed for success.

From speaking in front of groups to feeling more confident in job interviews, children and teens can benefit from accessing communication tools. Speech therapists are a great resource for improving communication skills as well as confidence as students take their first few steps into the adult world.

Support for Adult Speech Therapy Goals

In the same way, adults with speech disorders may go undiagnosed. The ability to effectively communicate is something that many of us take for granted. People might only think about their speaking proficiency if it is taken away – such as the challenges of speaking after an accident or traumatic brain injury (TBI), or the struggles associated with a condition such as Parkinson’s disease, dementia, Alzheimer’s or following a stroke – all of which can impact people who are in prison.  In fact, individuals with TBI are 2.5 times more likely to be incarcerated compared with the general population, and between 25% and 87% of incarcerated adults have sustained a TBI at some point in their lives.

Without a voice, people begin to feel frustrated and isolated. The ability to speak is a treasured gift that brings joy and happiness

Virtual speech therapy can help people in juvenile detention and adult prison systems to:

  • Develop language skills for daily life.
  • Understand complex information and words 
  • Develop conversation and social skills such as body language, turn taking, nonverbal communication.
  • Develop their vocabulary and the way they put sentences together.
  • Express their feelings and emotions more effectively.
  • Aid their understanding of different types of emotions, and how these can result in a range of feelings.
  • Develop strategies to manage their own communication difficulties.
  • Address communication difficulties that trigger anti-social behavior.
  • Develop skills that help to overcome short-term memory Understand, and be understood, by professionals and services Cope better with the social challenges in institutional life, academic/education and work settings.

To learn more about virtual speech therapy services provided through Great Speech, schedule an introductory call today