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NCJ Number: 65389 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: QUESTIONING OF THE MENTALLY BACKWARD
Author(s): K WOOLGROVE
Date Published: 1976
Page Count: 36
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: FOCUSING ON THE PROBLEMS FACED BY THE MENTALLY RETARDED IN THE CRIMINAL PROCESS, THE RELIGIOUS SOCIETY OF FRIENDS (QUAKERS) IN ENGLAND REVIEWS LITERATURE AND IDENTIFIES AREAS OF PARTICULAR CONCERN.
Abstract: RESEARCHERS FOUND CONSIDERABLE AMBIGUITY IN THE LITERATURE ABOUT THE PRECISE MEANING OF VARIOUS TERMS RELATING TO MENTAL RETARDATION, AND A PAUCITY OF RESEARCH MATERIAL ON THE DIFFICULTIES ENCOUNTERED BY THE RETARDED IN THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM. TOPICS ADDRESSED INCLUDE THE NATURE AND PREVALENCE OF MENTAL RETARDATION, LEGAL PROVISIONS FOR THE INTERROGATION OF SUSPECTS, INTERROGATION OF THE MENTALLY RETARDED, THE USE OF CONFESSIONS AND STATEMENTS IN EVIDENCE, AND THE AMERICAN PERSPECTIVE. ALTHOUGH THE MENTALLY RETARDED CONSTITUTE ONLY A TINY PROPORTION OF THE BRITISH AND AMERICAN POPULATIONS (2 AND 3 PERCENT, RESPECTIVELY), THERE HAS BEEN A HISTORIC TENDENCY TO ASSOCIATE MENTAL DEFICIENCY WITH SOCIAL DEVIANCE. STUDIES OF PRISON POPULATIONS HAVE SHOWN A HIGHER INCIDENCE OF MENTAL RETARDATION AMONG PRISONERS THAN IN THE POPULATION AS A WHOLE. ALTHOUGH BRITISH POLICE ARE FORBIDDEN TO USE COERCIVE METHODS OF QUESTIONING SUSPECTS, RETARDED INDIVIDUALS ARE LIKELY TO MISUNDERSTAND WHY THEY ARE BEING QUESTIONED, THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE QUESTIONS, AND THE POSSIBLE CONSEQUENCES OF THEIR ANSWERS. ENCOURAGING SIGNS FOR THE TREATMENT OF THE MENTALLY RETARDED INCLUDE THE ISSUANCE OF A CIRCULAR BY THE BRITISH HOME SECRETARY TO THE POLICE DRAWING ATTENTION TO THE NEED FOR SPECIAL CARE IN THE INTERROGATION OF MENTALLY HANDICAPPED PERSONS. IT SUGGESTS THAT THE REQUIREMENT OF THE PRESENCE OF A THIRD PERSON, ALREADY REQUIRED IN THE CASE OF MENTALLY HANDICAPPED CHILDREN, SHOULD BE EXTENDED TO MENTALLY HANDICAPPED ADULTS. FOOTNOTES AND A BIBLIOGRAPHY ARE INCLUDED.
Index Term(s): Competency to stand trial; Criminal codes; Criminal investigation; England; Interview and interrogation; Laws and Statutes; Offenders; Persons with cognitive disabilities; Rules of evidence; Standards; Suspect interrogation; United States of America
Note: COMMISSIONED BY PENAL AFFAIRS COMMITTEE, RELIGIOUS SOCIETY OF FRIENDS
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