Review recommends more controlled studies in evaluation of treatment outcomes for offenders with learning disabilities


There continue to be difficulties in agreeing on the numbers of people with learning disabilities in the offender population. Estimates range from 2% to 10%. The author of this review set out to look at recent research in the field which includes work on prevalence, developments in appropriate assessments and investigations into the effectiveness of treatment procedures.

The author describes research on risk assessment which has developed over the last 7 years with current studies setting out frameworks for assessment and testing new instruments that researchers have used and have been shown to predict offending incidents.

The author suggests that studies evaluating treatment options for sex offenders have shown some promise, although at present these evaluations have only evaluated progress in terms of improvements in behaviour, cognitive distortions and reductions of offending. The author points to one study which targeted reductions in sexual deviancy. There are very few studies evaluating treatment outcomes that have established appropriate control conditions however.

The author points out that there is interest in this relatively new field in the literature and that the addition of controlled studies would aid clinicians significantly in assessment, review and treatment of offenders with learning disabilities.

People with intellectual disability who offend or are involved with the criminal justice system, Lindsay, W, in Current Opinion in Psychiatry, 24, 5, 377–381

Share on Facebook Tweet this on Twitter Share on LinkedIn Share on Google+
Mark as read
Create a personal elf note about this blog
Profile photo of John Northfield

John Northfield

After qualifying as a social worker, John worked in community learning disability teams before getting involved in a number of long-stay hospital closure programmes, working to develop individual plans for people moving into their own homes. He worked for BILD, helping to develop the Quality Network and was editorial lead for the NHS electronic library learning disabilities specialist collection. This led him to found the Learning Disabilities Elf site with Andre Tomlin as a way of making the evidence accessible to practitioners in health and social care. Most recently he has worked as part of Mencap's national quality team and also been involved in a number of national website developments, including the General Medical Council's learning disabilities site.

More posts

Follow me here –