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NCJ Number: 49161 Find in a Library
Title: RETARDED PERSON IN THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM (FROM AMERICAN CORRECTIONAL ASSOCIATION - PROCEEDINGS OF THE 106TH ANNUAL CONGRESS OF CORRECTIONS, 1976 - SEE NCJ-49145)
Author(s): H V WOOD
Corporate Author: American Correctional Assoc
United States of America
Date Published: 1976
Page Count: 5
Sponsoring Agency: American Correctional Assoc
Alexandria, VA 22314
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THE FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS OF A MISSOURI STUDY OF THE HANDLING OF MENTALLY RETARDED OFFENDERS AND OF THE ATTITUDES OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE PERSONNEL TOWARD THESE OFFENDERS ARE SUMMARIZED.
Abstract: A SURVEY OF JUDGES, PROSECUTORS, PUBLIC DEFENDERS, AND PRIVATE ATTORNEYS FOUND THAT NONE OF THESE PERSONS HAD ANY SPECIALIZED TRAINING OR EDUCATION IN HANDLING THE MENTALLY RETARDED OFFENDER. HOWEVER, THE COURT PERSONNEL SHOWED A HIGH DEGREE OF SENSITIVITY TO THE QUESTIONS OF PROCEDURE IN ARREST, TRIAL, AND TREATMENT, AND ALMOST UNANIMOUSLY NOTED THE LACK OF LEGAL DISTINCTION BETWEEN THE MENTALLY ILL AND THE MENTALLY RETARDED. A MAJOR PROBLEM APPEARS TO BE FAILURE TO RECOGNIZE THAT A DEFENDANT IS RETARDED. THE STUDY FOUND THAT, WHILE ONLY 3 PERCENT OF THE STATE'S GENERAL POPULATION IS RETARDED, APPROXIMATELY 10 PERCENT OF THE INSTITUTIONAL POPULATION IS RETARDED, AND 6 TO 7 PERCENT OF THOSE ON PROBATION AND PAROLE CASELOADS ARE RETARDED. MOST RETARDED OFFENDERS ARE FROM URBAN AREAS, BROKEN HOMES, AND MINORITY GROUPS. MISSOURI'S CORRECTIONAL SYSTEM PROVIDES FEW ALTERNATIVE EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS FOR THE MENTALLY RETARDED. MOST CORRECTIONAL STAFF HAVE NO TRAINING IN MENTAL RETARDATION, WHEREAS MOST PROBATION, PAROLE, AND POLICE OFFICERS HAVE SUCH TRAINING. THE STUDY RECOMMENDS THE CREATION OF A COORDINATING ORGANIZATION TO PROVIDE INTERDISCIPLINARY TRAINING IN MENTAL RETARDATION FOR ALL AGENCIES WHO DEAL WITH MENTALLY RETARDED CITIZENS. IT IS ALSO RECOMMENDED THAT DIVERSION, CRISIS INTERVENTION, AND PREVENTION PROGRAMS CONCENTRATE ON THE LOWEST COURT LEVEL, WHERE OVER 90 PERCENT OF THE CASES INVOLVING MENTALLY RETARDED OFFENDERS ARE HANDLED. THE STUDY ALSO SUGGESTS THAT SPECIALLY TRAINED PROBATION, PAROLE, AND JUVENILE WORKERS BE ASSIGNED TO MENTALLY RETARDED OFFENDERS AND THAT THEY BE ASSISTED BY MENTAL HEALTH CASEWORKERS AND TRAINED VOLUNTEERS. IT IS FURTHER RECOMMENDED THAT THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION PROVIDE THE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS AND YOUTH SERVICES WITH SPECIAL EDUCATION SERVICES AND MATERIALS FOR RETARDED OFFENDERS.
Index Term(s): Mentally ill offenders; Missouri; Persons with cognitive disabilities; Right to treatment; Studies
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