Perceptions of sex offenders with intellectual disability: A comparison of forensic staff and the general public

Jennifer Steans, Simon Duff
2018 JARID: Journal of applied research in intellectual disabilities  
Existing literature suggests that individuals with intellectual disability are not always held accountable for their actions and forensic staff are unlikely to report their sexually harmful behaviour. Method: This research explores how categorization of an offender as having intellectual disability and the framing of an offence as planned or opportunistic, impacts upon ratings of risk, blame and intent by forensic staff and the general public. The impact of pre-existing attitudes towards sex
more » ... udes towards sex offenders upon these ratings was also considered. Results: Differences are identified between participants' ratings when the offender is categorized as having an intellectual disability. More positive attitudes are associated with lower ratings of several factors. Conclusions: Individuals with overly positive attitudes towards sex offenders could underestimate the risk posed by sex offenders with intellectual disability. These results are important to consider alongside the NHS Transforming Care Agenda. K E Y W O R D S attitudes towards sex offenders, ATS intellectual disability, sex offenders with an intellectual disability This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.
doi:10.1111/jar.12467 pmid:29761909 fatcat:t6mkqk25ivg6xobu5qf7zjgyui