Screening for intellectual and developmental disabilities in jails: Are we there yet?

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Melissa Floyd-Pickard, Professor and Department Chair (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:

Abstract: Early identification of intellectual and developmental disabilities in persons in the criminal justice system is essential to protect their rights during arrest and trial, ensure safety when incarcerated, and maximize the opportunities to receive services while incarcerated and postrelease. Using telephone interviews of jail administrators (N = 80) in 1 state, this study examined how people with intellectual and developmental disabilities were identified in jails. Findings indicated that administrators varied widely in awareness of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in their jails. Few jails (6%) used formal screening instruments for intellectual and developmental disabilities, others relied on officer observation and self-report (53%), and some provided no screening at all; in addition, officers received little training in this regard. Findings suggest that few jails are operationalizing best-practice screening processes for intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2009
intellectual disabilities, early identification of disabilities, disability screening processes, jails, incarceration, criminal justice

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