chapter 6 - Introduction At every stage in the criminal...

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Introduction At every stage in the criminal justice process, mentally retarded and severely learning disabled inmates experience more problems than usual for offenders Some are directly related to handicaps, some result from lack of training, material resources, and a lack of interagency cooperation with the system The problems associated with the mentally retarded and learning disabled offender include some specific concerns o More likely to get caught in the act and arrested o They may not understand their rights o Inadequate in their own case preparation o Often victimized in the period of pretrial incarceration o Often fooled or coerced into committing institutional infractions sometimes because they do not understand them Background of offender with mental retardation Often characterized by a poor urban environment and family with limited ability Likely to have suffered o Significant psychological deprivation o Exhibited a range of behavioral problems o Spent substantial periods in some form of residential care or schooling Has difficulty attaining a place in a normal peer group and becomes the willing follower of a more able delinquent gang or of criminal family members The lack of mental savvy makes him or her the most likely to be apprehended when engaging in illegal behaviors Offenses involving physical violence are uncommon, but a substantial number of mental retarded offenders show a low tolerance for frustration Offenders with mental retardation Defining mental retardation has been a controversial issue o Refers to significantly subaverage general intellectual functioning existing concurrently with deficits in adaptive behavior and manifested during the developmental period To be considered mentally retarded an individual must o Have an IQ of less than 70 o Demonstrate impairments in adaptive behavior Overall emotional maturation Poor personal responsibility, Low social skills o Must present with the disorder during the formative years Estimated that mental retardation has a prevalence of 3 percent in society with roughly 89 percent having mild retardation Often difficult to identify mildly retarded offender since their handicap is not especially pronounced so as to be easily identified
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The offender population tends to have intellectual sores of IQ that are slightly lower than the majority of the nonoffending population o Due to lower socioeconomic status and lack of education Moderately retarded offenders are more easily identifiable o Deficits usually manifest in early childhood and exhibit some delayed muscular-motor development o Usually learn to take care of themselves and can do simple tasks o Have difficulty with more complex tasks Offenders with severe retardation o Often show marked delays in motor development early in life o Extremely hindered from functioning independently. o
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chapter 6 - Introduction At every stage in the criminal...

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