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NCJ Number: 199930 Find in a Library
Title: Analysis of Mentally Retarded and Lower-Functioning Offender Correctional Programs
Journal: Corrections Today Magazine  Dated:April 2003  Pages:119-121
Author(s): Mark Nichols; Lawrence L. Bench; Erica Morlok; Karen Liston
Date Published: April 2003
Page Count: 3
Type: Research (Applied/Empirical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article discusses the correctional challenges posed by lower-functioning and mentally retarded offenders and reports on a survey of 41 States regarding correctional services for this group of offenders.
Abstract: Lower-functioning and mentally retarded inmates pose special challenges for correctional institutions that must care for and house this group of offenders. The authors comment on the recent litigation that has determined the rights of mentally retarded inmates to be different from those of the general population of inmates. The Supreme Court recently ruled that mentally retarded offenders may not be executed for their crimes. Another case established that mentally retarded inmates who are younger than 22 have a right to special education within correctional institutions. In order to ascertain the degree to which States have specialized services and programs for mentally retarded offenders, the authors conducted phone surveys with 41 States. Of these 41 States, 18 have programs and living arrangements specifically for lower-functioning inmates, while 23 States group mentally retarded inmates in with mentally ill inmates for treatment services. These findings indicate that while many States are attempting to address the needs of mentally retarded inmates, many fall short on the special housing and programming needs of this population. Recommendations for improvements in inmates programming include an established screening system during intake to identify lower-functioning and mentally retarded inmates and implementation of services designed to teach self-help and job skills to this group of inmates. 4 Endnotes
Main Term(s): Offenders with Intellectual or Developmental Disabilities
Index Term(s): Inmate Education Assistance Programs; Inmate Programs; Inmate social programs; Mentally ill inmates
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