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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 136723 Find in a Library
Title: Historical Overview of the Mentally Retarded Offender (From Mainstreaming Retardation Delinquency, P 3-18, 1991, Richard S. Greene, ed. -- See NCJ-136722)
Author(s): C H Krishef
Date Published: 1991
Page Count: 16
Sponsoring Agency: Technomic Publishing Co, Inc
Lancaster, PA 17604
Sale Source: Technomic Publishing Co, Inc
851 New Holland Avenue
Box 3535
Lancaster, PA 17604
United States of America
Type: Historical Overview
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Explanations for the etiology of criminal behavior among the mentally retarded are deficient. Most retarded people who commit criminal acts are probably no more emotionally disturbed than others in the general population.
Abstract: Historically, the attitudes of professional workers and researchers can be divided into four periods. The first period, from 1860 to 1919, is referred to as the hereditary era when the prevailing attitude was that all "feeble-minded" individuals were hereditarily predisposed to criminal behavior. The second period, from 1916 to 1925, is called the low intelligence era, during which opinions were widely held that low intelligence was the major cause of crime and antisocial behavior. The third and fourth periods are the environmental era (1925-1945) and the multiple factors era (1946-present). The current multiple factors era represents an eclectic approach to explain the relationship between criminal behavior and mental retardation that includes biological, psychological, social, and legal determinants. Due to the varied perspectives on mental retardation and criminality, there is no real agreement on the etiology of criminal behavior among the mentally retarded. Retarded individuals are at a decided disadvantage in the judicial system, and such biasing disadvantages mitigate against being able to use court data to effectively determine the relationship between crime and mental retardation. 35 references
Main Term(s): Offenders with Intellectual or Developmental Disabilities
Index Term(s): Crime Causes; Juvenile delinquency factors; Juvenile Delinquents with Intellectual or Developmental Disabilities
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