skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 91549 Find in a Library
Title: Mentally Handicapped Offender (Probation/Parole)
Author(s): G McDonald
Corporate Author: Sam Houston State University
Criminal Justice Ctr
United States of America
Project Director: G Kenchrist
Date Published: 1978
Sponsoring Agency: Not Available Through National Institute of Justice/NCJRS Document Loan Program
Rockville, MD 20849
Sam Houston State University
Huntsville, TX 77340
US Dept of Justice
Washington, DC 20531
Grant Number: 76-ED-06-0012
Sale Source: Sam Houston State University
Criminal Justice Ctr
Huntsville, TX 77340
United States of America

Not Available Through National Institute of Justice/NCJRS Document Loan Program
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This film offers police officers instruction on how to distinguish mental retardation from mental disturbance in persons coming to their attention for disorderly or otherwise suspect behavior.
Abstract: About 12 percent of the population are mentally retarded; 25 percent have some degree of mental disturbance, including 1 percent who are severely disturbed. While the mentally retarded, due to the characteristics of their handicap, are easily caught and are often behind bars, the mentally disturbed harbor potential dangers to themselves and society that may erupt without forewarning. Since the two have totally different causes for their behavior and different treatment needs, it is vital that police officers be able to distinguish between them and provide understanding and appropriate services. The retarded have developmentally limited learning processes in gradations from mild and moderate to severe and profound retardation. Their behavior is often childlike, their muscular coordination undeveloped, their speech slurred, and their information and understanding limited. They may, however, become belligerent if mistreated. Contrary to popular opinion, mentally retarded persons do not become mentally disturbed. The latter disorder arises from emotional stress of intense degree and duration and culminates in a moment of crisis, characterized by distortions of thought, perception, mood, and physical behavior. A series of vignettes illustrate typical behaviors of both mentally retarded and mentally disturbed behavior in public places -- (store, library, street, probation office). Officers are urged to consider what type of handicap is being portrayed and what the officer's response should be.
Index Term(s): Mental defectives; Mental disorders; Persons with cognitive disabilities; Police-offender relations
Note: *This document is currently unavailable from NCJRS. Video-cassette, 60 minutes color, 3/4 inch.
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.