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NCJ Number: 73653 Find in a Library
Title: Who Is the Mentally Retarded Offender?
Journal: Angolite  Dated:(September-October 1980)  Pages:20-36,100
Corporate Author: Louisiana State Penitentiary
United States of America
Editor(s): W Rideau; B Sinclair
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 18
Sponsoring Agency: Louisiana State Penitentiary
Angola, LA 70712
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The plight of the mentally-retarded offender in the criminal justice process, particularly corrections, is documented, and aspects of criminal justice programming for such offenders are discussed, with special attention to Louisiana.
Abstract: The 1971 Brown-Courtless study found that about 10 percent of incarcerated offenders are retarded (an IQ below 70), or an estimated 25 to 30,000 mentally retarded offenders exist in the Nation's prisons. While few definitive studies have been made of the retarded offender, data from the scattered studies show that retarded offenders represent a disproportionate percentage of the incarcerated. This is believed by many to be due to the maladaptive problems of the mentally retarded, their reduced capacity to avoid capture and conviction, and the infrequent use of probation, parole, and community programs with the mentally-retarded offender. Data also show that the mentally retarded are more likely than other offenders to plead guilty without some of the benefits of a negotiated plea, are less likely to appeal convictions, and infrequently request postconviction relief. Few correctional programs test for mental retardation, and those that do, fail to provide habilitation or supportive programs targeted at the mentally-retarded inmate. Such inmates are frequently abused by other inmates, because they do not know how to deal with manipulation and intimidation. While professionals argue the need for special community programs, corrections officials generally acknowledge that corrections programs for the mentally-retarded have low priority in resource allocation. This material came from interviews with criminal justice professionals and experts in the field of mental retardation.
Index Term(s): Community-based corrections (adult); Inmate Programs; Louisiana; Offender classification; Offenders with Intellectual or Developmental Disabilities
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