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NCJ Number: 65428 Find in a Library
Title: TOWARD AN EXCEPTIONAL OFFENDERS COURT
Journal: MENTAL RETARDATION  Volume:4  Issue:1  Dated:(FEBRUARY 1966)  Pages:3-7
Author(s): R C ALLEN
Corporate Author: American Assoc on Mental Deficiency
United States of America
Date Published: 1966
Page Count: 5
Sponsoring Agency: American Assoc on Mental Deficiency
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THE ESTABLISHMENT OF AN EXCEPTIONAL OFFENDERS COURT IS ADVOCATED FOR MENTALLY RETARDED ADULTS CHARGED WITH OR CONVICTED OF A SERIOUS CRIME; A SPECIAL OBJECTIVE OF SUCH COURTS WOULD BE THE WELFARE OF THESE PERSONS.
Abstract: HISTORICALLY, SOCIETY HAS EITHER IGNORED THE LIMITATIONS AND SPECIAL NEEDS OF THE MENTALLY RETARDED, OR HAS SOUGHT TO TAILOR TRADITIONAL CRIMINAL LAW PROCESSES TO FIT THEM, OR HAS GROUPED THEM WITH PSYCHOPATHS, SOCIOPATHS, AND SEX DEVIATES. A SPECIALLY CONSTITUTED COURT SHOULD BE EMPOWERED TO ASSUME WARDSHIP WHEN AN ADULT SHOWN TO BE SUBSTANTIALLY IMPAIRED IN INTELLECTUAL ACTIVITY HAS COMMITTED AN ACT WHICH WOULD BE A FELONY OR SERIOUS MISDEMEANOR IF COMMITTED BY AN ADULT WITHOUT SUCH IMPAIRMENT. TRANSFER TO THIS COURT SHOULD OCCUR AT WHATEVER POINT SEVERE MENTAL RETARDATION IS SUSPECTED, WHETHER PRIOR TO TRIAL ON A CRIMINAL CHARGE OR AFTER CONVICTION, SENTENCE, AND INCARCERATION. THE JUDGE SHOULD DETERMINE THE EXISTENCE OF GROSS INTELLECTUAL DEFICIT FROM EXPERT EVIDENCE, AFTER WHICH ANY ANTECEDENT CRIMINAL PROCEEDINGS SHOULD BE VOIDED. A FURTHER HEARING SHOULD INVOLVE INFORMAL PROCEEDINGS THAT OBSERVE ELEMENTAL STANDARDS OF DUE PROCESS OF LAW. THE COURT SHOULD HAVE BROAD SUPERVISORY POWERS OVER ALL PERSONS COMING UNDER ITS JURISDICTION, INCLUDING AUTHORITY TO COMMIT EXCEPTIONAL OFFENDERS TO APPROPRIATE SPECIALIZED INSTITUTIONS FOR INDETERMINATE PERIODS; THIS SHOULD BE BASED UPON A FINDING OF DANGEROUSNESS TO SELF OR TO OTHERS AND SHOULD BE SUBJECT TO PERIODIC REVIEW. IF THE OFFENDER IS CAPABLE OF LIVING IN SOCIETY UNDER SUPERVISION, PROBATION SHOULD BE AVAILABLE, MAKING FULL USE OF GROUP THERAPY, SPECIAL EDUCATION, AND OTHER TECHNIQUES. THE COURT SHOULD ALSO HAVE AUTHORITY TO CONFER POWERS OF GUARDIANSHIP AND COULD BE GIVEN THE JURISDICTION OF DEPENDENCY AND NEGLECT CASES INVOLVING EXCEPTIONAL ADULTS AS WELL. OTHER UNRESOLVED PROBLEMS, SUCH AS THE LACK OF ADDITIONAL FACILITIES AND TRAINED PERSONNEL, MUST ALSO BE CONSIDERED, IF SUCH PERSONS' REHABILITATION AND SOCIAL REINTEGRATION ARE TO BE ACHIEVED. REFERENCES ARE SUPPLIED, AND AN APPENDIX EXAMINES FURTHER THE MENTALLY RETARDED AND THE LAW. (MHP)
Index Term(s): Alternatives to institutionalization; Court reform; Custody vs treatment conflict; Discretionary decisions; Diversion programs; Inmate classification; Law reform; Mental defectives; Offenders with Intellectual or Developmental Disabilities; Persons with cognitive disabilities
Note: THIS PAPER WAS GIVEN AT THE 89TH ANNUAL MEETING OF THE AMERICAN ASSOCIATION ON MENTAL DEFICIENCY, MIAMI BEACH, FLORIDA, JUNE 12, 1965
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=65428

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