Inside/Outside: Supporting People with Intellectual Disability Who Are At Risk of Engagement with The Criminal Justice System. Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs and Washington State Developmental Disabilities Council November 2, 2010 Marc Goldman, MS., LPA 919-308-9769
Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs
Washington State Developmental Disabilities Council
November 2, 2010
Marc Goldman, MS., LPA
“—the moron---is a menace to society and civilization;---he is responsible to a large degree for many, if not all, of our social problems.”
“– but no one has seemed to suspect the real cause of their delinquencies, which careful psychological tests have now determined to be feeble-mindedness.”
“- segregation through colonization seems in the present state of our knowledge to be the ideal and perfectly satisfactory method.”
Henry Herbert Goddard, PhD Director of the Research Laboratory of the Training School at Vineland, New Jersey, for Feeble-minded Girls and Boys
"This review of the legal and criminological literature from the 1960's to 1990 pertaining to the incarceration of criminal offenders who are intellectually disabled, is essentially an overview of the history of a class of persons who are as poorly equipped to cope with the correctional system as that system is ill equipped to deal with them.“
Orville R. Endicott 1991. Legal Council, Canadian Association for Community Living. A contracted report to the Research Branch, Correctional Services of Canada.
“Those mental health people; they really do speak English. But you have to talk to them awhile.”
Unidentified Assistant Federal Prosecutor(7/23/99.)The Attorney General’s Work Group on Special Needs Prisoners.
Intelligence, which refers to the ability to learn and problem solve, is significantly and specifically below average. It is usually measured by an intelligence quotient (IQ.)
Adaptive Behavior Deficits
Onset by 18
Adaptive behavior Intellectual Disability impairments in meeting the standards expected of his/her age by his/her cultural group in at least two of the following areas:
Jail policies should include persons with I/DD or TBI as category of persons, like those with medical or mental health needs, that may require special accommodations, including housing or medical services. Housing accommodations may be needed to assist a person with an I/DD or TBI in maintaining safety and functionality, and should be consistent with any health, safety and security requirements.
Accommodations should also be made to ensure necessary assistance for a person who may have communication barriers and require assistance in understanding commands or verbal or written jail rules and regulations.
Contacting DSHS/ DDD – When a person has been screened as potentially having an I/DD or TBI, the jail should contact the DDD and/or a known local I/DD or TBI community service provider. Contacting the Department of Veterans’ Affairs is also appropriate to determine whether someone is receiving services.
Jails should work with an appropriate DDD representative to establish policies for determining appropriate accommodations for the person while confined. Information necessary includes the appropriate DDD/community provider contact (name, position, contact information) and should be updated on a yearly basis
Jail staff should inquire whether person is currently receiving DDD or other government benefits/services. Jail staff should seek available information from DDD
regarding the person’s behaviors, triggers, or other information that will assist in providing accommodation. Jail staff should request from DDD, on a yearly basis, policies regarding communication with jails on persons confined with an I/DD or TBI and current staff contacts.
Many people with intellectual disability are strongly motivated to do what they believe is what is expected of them. They learn to listen for certain words or inflections. They look into faces and may even copy moods as they try to give "correct" answers. They want to be accepted by and please others. Many have adapted by use of denial.
Q: "You were at the store last night?"
Q: "You didn't leave the house last night, did you?"
Q: "You couldn't have done both of them. Which is it?"
Q: "Did you stay home all night or did you go to the store?"
Q: "Alright, one more time; did you go to the store last night or did you stay home?"
A: "Stayed home."
Lack of social competence
Poor problem solving skills
Very limited ability to comprehend the
criminal justice system
Lack of bio-psycho-social assessment and
A thirty-two year old male is booked into your facility for a violent crime. During booking he is slow to respond to all questions but he denies all ID screening queries. Two hours after booking, he begins banging his head on the floor with mild intensity. What do you do?
Steve is booked on a charge of Indecent Liberties with A Child. His ID screening is positive. DDD provides the following information.
Axis I: Autistic Disorder
Mood Disorder, Not Otherwise Specified
Axis II: Mild Intellectual Disability
Axis III: No Diagnosis
He is prescribed Klonopin, Risperdal, Valporic Acid, and Lithobid.
He has a history of physical aggression, property destruction, and self-injurious behavior. Steve has a long history of aberrant sexual expression, primarily with children. On multiple occasions he has engaged in holding a child’s foot while masturbating. This has occurred on a downtown street, a public swimming pool, and at his residence. In all cases, support professionals where near. He presents at booking talking rapidly and does not answer questions but repeatedly says that he is going to lunch on Saturday with his “community buddy” and he must be released.
Earl is a forty year-old man who has been supported in a group home by the same provider for five years. Index offense; he lit paper in a trash basket on fire then placed it in his closet. The fire was discovered and promptly extinguished by support staff. Two years ago he set a fire in his home that resulted in $50,000 in damages. Two years prior to that fire, Earl set a mop on fire in his backyard. He has maintained a job at a fast food restaurant for two years and is supported with a job coach.
He is diagnosed with,
Axis I: Psychotic Disorder, NOS
Axis II: Moderate Mental Retardation
Axis III: No Diagnosis
Earl is prescribed Haldol for his Axis I Disorder.
Lee has had multiple charges of Breaking and Entering and Home Invasion. Support staff, providing 24-hour-assistance, report that he elopes twice monthly; becoming vulnerable to multiple risks. He has been found at a pool hall where he was “drinking a Bud.” On more than one occasion, he has entered an occupied residence. He sells his possessions whenever he has the opportunity. He resides in a rural area. The crisis team was contacted after he entered an occupied residence. The only occupant was a 13 year-old female. He is typically calm and cordial. Staff stated to the officer called to the residence by the occupant that he is “delusional,” and are requesting that he be hospitalized. He is diagnosed with;
Axis I: Schizoaffective Disorder
Axis II: Moderate Mental Retardation
Axis III: No Diagnosis
He is prescribed Zoloft and Risperdal.
Identify internal & external conditions that influence the likelihood of challenging behaviors. Then, create corresponding interventions, implement, and systematically measure effect.
1. Identify Target Symptom(s)
2. Identify conditions that influence or control the target symptoms. Multiple conditions combine and make the target more or less likely to occur. Conditions (influences) are organized as:
3.Determine what is necessary for the target behavior to occur. Determine what influences make the behavior more likely, but do not always result in the behavior. Identify personal characteristics that influence the likelihood of the target behavior
4.Determine the function of the target behavior.
6. Design individualized treatment and control interventions.
7. Design and implement systematic evaluation procedures.
Consultation w/DDD and in-house specialist
Co-occurring mental health issues
Learning deficits; ability to follow/recall
Available history of aberrant behavior
Vulnerability to harm
Change of setting