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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 120751 Find in a Library
Title: Mentally Handicapped Offender: Rights and Responsibilities
Journal: British Journal of Mental Subnormality  Volume:35, Part 2  Issue:69  Dated:(July 1989)  Pages:108-114
Author(s): T Thomas
Date Published: 1989
Page Count: 7
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: This examination of issues related to the handling of mentally handicapped people in the earliest stages of criminal justice processing emphasizes the need for police, social workers, nursing staff, and others to recognize both their special responsibilities toward people with mental handicaps and the rights of the accused.
Abstract: These stages include reporting of an offense, stopping and searching individuals in the street, and police removal of someone from a public place to a place of safety if they appear to need immediate care for a mental disorder. They also include searches and seizures, interviews and interrogation at the police station, communication upon releasing someone from the police station, and cautioning. The responsibilities and needs of the person processing a suspect must be balanced against the rights of the suspect to be treated fairly and to make voluntary statements within the capacity of their understanding. These early stages have low visibility and should be handled with particular care. Tape recording of police interviews, joint interviews by police and social workers of suspected child victims of sexual assault, and increased awareness of agency guidelines would all improve the work with mentally handicapped persons. Figure and 21 references.
Main Term(s): Offenders with Intellectual or Developmental Disabilities
Index Term(s): Mentally ill offenders; Rights of the accused
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