Federal Dyslexia Screeening in Prisons


Cassidy Announces Dyslexia Screening Provision Included in New Criminal Justice Reform

WASHINGTON– U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA), a member of the Senate health and education committee, today announced that his provision providing for the screening of inmates for dyslexia is included in the new version of the First Step Act(S. 3649), legislation endorsed by President Trump to reform America’s criminal justice system. Cassidy announced his support for the legislationtwo weeks ago.

“Having treated patients in prisons, I learned that illiteracy often leads someone to turn to a life of crime. Dyslexia is a leading cause of illiteracy, so to address illiteracy and incarceration, we must better address dyslexia,” said Dr. Cassidy. “I’m pleased Chairman Grassley, Jared Kushner and the White House agreed to incorporate my proposal for screening inmates for dyslexia into this bill. It makes sense that if a someone learns to read, they’re less likely to end up in prison and more likely to be a productive member of society. And if someone ends up in prison, they’re more likely to be get a job and keep it once they are released. In the end, I think this will save some people from the prison system, make our streets safer, and save taxpayers money.”

A study found that 80 percent of prison inmates at the state prison in Huntsville, Texas, were functionally illiterate and 48 percent were dyslexic.

The First Step Act will formally define dyslexia as “an unexpected difficulty in reading for an individual who has the intelligence to be a much better reader, most commonly caused by a difficulty in the phonological processing (the appreciation of the individual sounds of spoken language), which affects the ability of an individual to speak, read, and spell.” The bill requires the U.S. attorney general to incorporate an evidence-based, low-cost, readily available dyslexia screening program into the new risk and needs assessment system, including by screening for dyslexia during the prisoner intake process and each periodic risk reassessment of a prisoner. It also requires the U.S. attorney general to incorporate dyslexia treatment programs into recidivism reduction programs.

Former Blackhawks’ defenseman, Brent Sopel, has recently taken on a new fight.

Brent is taking something that has negatively affected him during his life and is now turning it into a positive not only for himself but also for his kids, and other kids around the world as well. It’s really refreshing to watch him use his platform, as a former NHL player, to his advantage and truly make a difference with something like dyslexia which is actually much more common than you may think.


Decoding Dyslexia NJ is pleased to partner with AIM Institute for Learning & Research for a FREE WEBINAR with Expert, Nancy Hennessy on January 15, 2019!

On behalf of AIM’s Access to the Experts Community Workshop Series, we are happy to bring you:

The Multifaceted Nature of Reading Acquisition: Unraveling the Reading Rope

Tuesday, January 15, 2019 | 6:30 – 7:30 pm ET

Description: Hollis Scarborough’s Reading Rope provides a powerful illustration of the multiple strands of proficient reading. The rope model unravels the critical skills of word recognition and language comprehension. It directly informs our understanding of why some students succeed and some struggle and provides necessary direction for effective instruction. This session will define the strands of the rope, examine individual contributions and necessary interactions, and further develop an understanding of how skilled reading develops.

REGISTER AT: www.aimpa.org/institute/access2experts/henness