Intellectual Disability Among Offenders in Correctional and Forensic Settings

Authored by: Kaitlyn McLachlan

Handbook of Forensic Mental Health Services

Print publication date:  May  2017
Online publication date:  May  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138645943
eBook ISBN: 9781315627823
Adobe ISBN:


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Individuals with intellectual disability (ID) experience a range of limitations in both intellectual functioning and adaptive behavior. The term intellectual disability is often used to reference a wide group of individuals experiencing these difficulties, rather than in a narrow, diagnostic sense. The term is used broadly throughout this chapter to refer to people who experience a range of deficits in neurocognitive and behavioral functioning, including those who have been formally diagnosed with ID, along with neurodevelopmental conditions, such as autism spectrum disorder and fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD). Evidence suggests that individuals with ID are overrepresented in offending and forensic populations, though, notably, there is a dearth of research in this area. Efforts to understand the high prevalence of offenders with ID in correctional and forensic environments are ongoing, coupled with an emerging evidence base focused on effective treatment and management strategies.

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