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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 70561 Find in a Library
Title: Retarded and the Police
Journal: Police Studies  Volume:3  Issue:1  Dated:(Spring 1980)  Pages:14-19
Author(s): S E K Hewitt
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 6
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Although the British police must handle many mentally retarded offenders, civil rights of these persons arre not sufficiently respected and police are not specifically trained to handle them.
Abstract: Recent studies and cases show that the police are not sufficiently concerned about how to interrogate and handle the mentally retarded. The mentally retarded have the same legal and civil rights as all citizens. Since there are over 1,000,000 mentally retarded persons in Great Britain, police should know how to recognize and approach them, where to get help in dealing with them, and what to expect from them. Furthermore, the police should address the mentally retarded just as they do other persons, being polite but firm. The mentally retarded are usually trusting and loving and only become violent when they are badly frightened. During interrogations, the police should not proceed until a parent or relative is present to comfort the interrogatee. However, better training for the police, rather than more legislation to protect the mentally handicapped, is the best means of ensuring better treatment for the mentally handicapped.
Index Term(s): Great Britain/United Kingdom; Offenders with Intellectual or Developmental Disabilities; Persons with cognitive disabilities; Police education; Police legal limitations; Police responsibilities; Socially challenged
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