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NCJ Number: 65469 Find in a Library
Title: RETARDED OFFENDER
Journal: PRISON JOURNAL  Volume:49  Issue:1  Dated:(SPRING-SUMMER 1969)  Pages:13-23
Author(s): J ROBITSCHER
Corporate Author: Pennsylvania Prison Soc
United States of America
Date Published: 1969
Page Count: 11
Sponsoring Agency: Pennsylvania Prison Soc
Philadelphia, PA 19130
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THIS ARTICLE EXPLORES HISTORICAL METHODS OF CLASSIFYING THE RETARDED AND EXAMINES THEIR TREATMENT UNDER CRIMINAL LAW, WITH ATTENTION TO PATUXENT INSTITUTION'S GRADED-TIER SYSTEM FOR CATEGORIZING INMATES.
Abstract: RESEARCH HAS INDICATED THAT MANY SYSTEMS FOR DETERMINING WHO IS AND WHO IS NOT MENTALLY RETARDED ARE ERRONEOUS OR UNRELIABLE. THE INTELLIGENCE QUOTIENT TEST, FOR EXAMPLE, DESIGNATES MANY PERSONS AS RETARDED WHOSE CULTURAL OR EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND INTERFERES WITH THEIR ABILITY TO DO WELL ON THE TEST. VARIOUS COUNTRIES AND STATES IN THE U.S. HAVE DIFFERENT METHODS FOR DETERMINING THE MENTAL STATUS OF RETARDED OFFENDERS AND ASSIGN VARIOUS DEGREES OF RESPONSIBILITY FOR CRIMINAL ACTS TO THESE PERSONS. IN MARYLAND, A STATE NOTED FOR ITS MODERN TREATMENT OF THE DEFECTIVE DELINQUENT, PATUXENT INSTITUTION RECEIVES DEFECTIVE DELINQUENTS FOR AN INDETERMINATE PERIOD OF TIME. THE RETARDED OFFENDERS PARTICIPATE IN VOCATIONAL PROGRAMS (E.G., AUTOMOTIVE TRAINING, CARPENTRY, COOKING) AND IN EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS. THEIR SUCCESS IN THESE PROGRAMS SUGGESTS THAT MANY OF THESE OFFENDERS ARE ERRONEOUSLY CLASSIFIED AS RETARDED. MOREOVER, PSYCHOTHERAPY HAS BEEN SUCCESSFUL IN THE TREATMENT OF MANY OF THESE INMATES, 70 PERCENT OF WHOM RECEIVE THIS THERAPY. FEW STATES HAVE SPECIAL LAWS TO COVER THE RETARDED CRIMINAL OFFENDER, AND MOST MAKE LITTLE EFFORT TO SEPARATE THIS OFFENDER FROM THE GENERAL PRISON POPULATION. A STUDY OF THE PREVALENCE OF MENTAL RETARDATION IN THE ANTISOCIAL POPULATION OF THE UNITED STATES AND OF THE TREATMENT OF RETARDED OFFENDER IN ADULT AND JUVENILE PENAL AND CORRECTIONAL INSTITUTIONS REVEALS THAT A HIGHER PROPORTION OF RETARDED OFFENDERS COMMIT SERIOUS PERSONAL OFFENSES, A SIGNIFICANT NUMBER OF RETARDED OFFENDERS ARE IN PRISON FOR FORGERY (POSSIBLY WITHOUT KNOWING THE NATURE OF THIS OFFENSE), AND ONLY SIX INSTITUTIONS HAVE PROGRAMS FOR THE RETARDATE. THE FAILURE OF PSYCHIATRISTS TO PRESS FOR LEGAL SAFEGUARDS THAT PROTECT THE INDIVIDUAL IS DECRIED. BECAUSE THE MENTALLY INCOMPETENT ARE NOT ABLE TO ACT IN THEIR OWN INTERESTS THEY NEED SPECIAL HELP IN PROTECTING THEIR INTERESTS. FOOTNOTES ARE INCLUDED.
Index Term(s): Correctional institutions (adult); Inmate Programs; Intelligence Quotient (IQ); Law reform; Maryland; Mental defectives; Offender classification; Offenders; Patuxent Institution; Persons with cognitive disabilities; Treatment offender matching
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=65469

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