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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 167861 Find in a Library
Title: Working With the Developmentally Disabled in Jail
Journal: American Jails  Volume:9  Issue:5  Dated:(November/December 1995)  Pages:16-18,20
Author(s): W R Jones
Date Published: 1995
Page Count: 4
Type: Training (Aid/Material)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article suggests how to identify and manage developmentally disabled persons admitted to jails.
Abstract: This article argues that "developmental disability" should encompass functionally illiterate inmates, offenders with a variety of learning disabilities, mildly retarded inmates, and inmates with organic brain disorders, in addition to inmates who are moderately to severely mentally retarded. In screening for developmental disability, an inmate's appearance is the first thing a screening officer should observe. This includes observing whether the clothing is appropriate for the season, whether it is disheveled, and whether it fits. Other characteristics of appearance that should be checked are personal hygiene and motor skills. Interaction/communication is another area that should receive the attention of the screening officer in identifying developmentally disabled persons. The screening Officer should test whether or not they understand what is being said to them, determine whether they realize they are in jail and why they are in jail, ascertain whether their vocabulary is appropriate for their approximate age or is more characteristics of someone younger. In managing developmentally disabled inmates, staff should speak clearly, at a moderate pace, keeping the sentences short, and avoid giving the inmate more than one direction at a time, and solicit feedback to be sure he understands. Regarding housing, most developmentally disabled inmates can be housed with the general population. Inmates who are more severely impaired will probably need to be placed in some type of protective custody housing. Referral is important when the inmate leaves the jail. Information on theinmate's disability should be passed on to the court system and involved attorneys. Referral to a social worker or social service agency is often appropriate in providing needed services for such inmates, both while in jail and after they return to the community. 5 notes
Main Term(s): Corrections management
Index Term(s): Diagnostic and reception processing; Jail management; Learning disabilities; Offenders with Intellectual or Developmental Disabilities; Persons with cognitive disabilities
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