The Impact of ADHD and a Prison Sentence

Episode 3: The Impact of ADHD and a Prison Sentence

What happens when you find yourself before someone who challenges you because their experiences are outside society’s accepted norm of good behaviour?

Do you judge? Do you make a note to keep your distance? Do you politely remove yourself from the conversation because they are not like you?

I invited Harvey to Drawn to a Deeper Story to talk about being in prison. It felt pertinent to understand what it’s like and to explore if there is space to practice compassion for prisoners/ex-prisoners.

I knew it would be a good conversation, but what I didn’t expect was an incredibly rich and insightful discussion also about the impact of living with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder).

Harvey talks personally and candidly about living with undiagnosed ADHD, how it’s shaped his life including ending up in prison. He also eloquently explains why people with ADHD can struggle with work, personal relationships and mental health.

If you’re interested in something with my condition, you can function at a very high level, but the flip side is if it bores you, you cannot function at all.


Listening to Harvey will take you to a place that most of us will never have been. He’s insightful, erudite, and invites us all to look at ‘othering’ with new eyes.

In this Episode

  • How the brain of an ADHD person works
  • The challenges and benefits that ADHD creates in one’s life
  • How to support people with ADHD and understand what they may be dealing with
  • Why many young men end up in prison
  • The critical importance of prison education to prisoners’ well-being and to society
  • Why the real punishment of prison is not what we think it is

Follow Cath at Drawn to a Story

Episode information

Music by Grant McLachlan

Mentioned in the podcast

The Koestler Awards

Hannah Arendt



NHS ADHD Information and treatments

ADHD Foundation – Health and education service

National Autistic Society – Support, guidance and advice

Ambitious About Autism – For autistic children, young people, their parents and carers

Prisoners’ Families Helpline – Support (England and Wales only)

Partners of Prisoners – Support to family and offenders

The Prison Reform Trust

Carers UK – Support for carers

Samaritans – FREE Help – Tel: 116 123, E:

NHS Depression Support Groups

NHS Mental Health Services

The British Psychology Society – Find a Psychologist


ADHD Australia – Support groups (States and Territories)

Bars Between – Support organizations in Australia and NZ

Community Restorative Centre – Help to prepare for prison and court dates

Autism Spectrum Australia – National service provider for people on the autism spectrum

Beyond Blue – Mental health support

Headspace – National Youth Mental Health Foundation with support services

The Black Dog Institute – Medical health resources, services and research

SANE Australia – Counselling support, Tel: 1800 187 263 (10am – 10pm)


Tips for Managing Adult ADHD

Autism Society – Information and support

Autism Society of America – Advocacy

National Institute of Mental Health – A range of helplines

American Psychologist Association – Psychologist Finder

OR contact medical services in your country.

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