Intellectual disability in the Victorian prison system: characteristics of prisoners with an intellectual disability released from prison in 2003-2006
Authors: Holland, Shasta; Persson, Peter
Source: Psychology, Crime and Law, Volume 17, Number 1, 2011 , pp. 25-41(17)
Abstract:This research seeks to examine both the prevalence of intellectual disability among the prison population in the State of Victoria, Australia and how prisoners with an intellectual disability differ from non-intellectually disabled prisoners on factors relevant to their management and rehabilitation within prison. A sample of prisoners with an intellectual disability (n=102) released from custody between 1 July 2003 and 30 June 2006 was compared with a random sample of non-intellectually disabled prisoners (n=244) released over the same period on a range of demographic, criminal history, offence, custody, and criminogenic risk and need variables. The results demonstrate that while prisoners with an intellectual disability are not over-represented among the Victorian prison population they do differ from non-intellectually disabled prisoners in a number of important ways. Prisoners with an intellectual disability were characterized by significant prior involvement with the criminal justice system, a high risk of re-offending, difficulties moving to minimum security while in prison and in obtaining parole. These findings indicate that prisoners with an intellectual disability are a group with complex histories and needs, who present considerable challenges to the correctional system and the broader forensic disability and disability service systems in their management and rehabilitation.
Document Type: Research article
Publication date: 2011-01-01