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Law in Context

Abstract from Volume 17 No 2 (2000) Explorations on Law and Disability in Australia

Offenders with an Intellectual Disability and the Arrest Process

Judith Cockram and Rod Underwood

Cockram and Underwood seek to explain the disproportionate involvement of people with disabilities with the criminal justice system in Western Australia. They report on a longitudinal study on offenders with intellectual disabilities and consider competing rationales for this over-representation in the context of arrest and charge rates. The research draws on an analysis of the Western Australian Police Service Apprehension records and the Disability Services Commission database. The findings lead to the rejection of the susceptibility hypothesis and the psychological disadvantage explanation in favour of the different treatment hypothesis and an explanation relating to the provision of social services.

(2000) 17(2) Law in Context 101
Keywords: Discrimination; Criminal Justice

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