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					Intellectual disabilities among Norwegian prisoners.
                                                                          Erik Søndenaa, Kirsten Rasmussen, Jim Aage Nøttestad
                                                                            St.Olavs University Hospital, Dep. Brøset, Centre of Forensic Research and Education, Trondheim, Norway
                                                                          Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Medical Faculty, Institute of Neuroscience, Trondheim, Norway

Introduction                                                                                                                                                          A screening test for intellectual disabilities (HASI) was                     Conclusions
                                                                                                                                                                      conducted to adjust and validate this instrument for future                     •11.2% of sample had IQ<70
• Prisoners with intellectual disabilities have been increasingly
focused during the last 10-20 years, and prevalence studies have
                                                                         Results                                                                                      use in identifying prisoners with ID.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      •Mean IQ = 9 point less than the general population.
been conducted in several western countries. In the Nordic               The mean age was about 35 years and the mean Intelligence
countries there have still not been published any prevalence             Quotient (IQ) was about 91. 7 out of 138 subjects was female                                                                                                                   •Prisoners with a possible intellectual disability
studies. We therefore have little information about the situation of     (5%). 11.2% of the total sample had a IQ score below 70.
these inmates.
• The published prevalence studies have given very different             Schooling history
results. When some studies conclude with no inmates having                       • More than half of those with intellectual impairments                                                                                                                              Less educated
intellectual disabilities (ID), other studies conclude with as much as             (N=15) skipped school frequently.                                                                                                                                                  Higher rate of convictions
28% of the inmates having intellectual impairments according to an               • They finished school at a younger age than other                                                                                                                                   Spent more time in prison
ID.                                                                                inmates.                                                                                                                                                                           More suggestible
• Prisoners with intellectual disabilities are disadvantageous in                • They reported more diagnosed dyslexia, and they
several respects. From the time of arrest until discharge, they meet               tended to have had more contact with the school
challenges that depends on their impairments. Written information,                 psychological services
complicated messages, tendency to plead, bullying and inability to                                                                                                                                                                                           •Identify people with intellectual disabilities before
take advantage from prison rehabilitation are some vulnerabilities.      Substance use                                                        Receiving operate characteristic analysis gives an area under curve                                            entering the justice penalty system.
• International studies demonstrate a higher risk of reoffending                • The experience with use of alcohol and drugs, and the       of 0.93 (p=0.000)                                                                                              •Offer adapted habilitation-services in prison.
among prisoners with intellectual disabilities, and mens rea seems                mental health was reported in accordance to other           HASI at cut-off score = 84: Sensitivity 0.93/ specificity 0.75                                                 •Follow-up services outside prison in local
in many cases absent as a consequence of lost attention to this                   inmates                                                     Optimum HASI cut-off score = 81.4: Sensitivity 0.93/ specificity 0.82
topic.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       settings.
                                                                                • They had a more sporadic use and reported a less
                                                                                  dependency in substance use
This study aimed to find out how many people in                                                                                              Suggestibility and Intellectual disability (ID) among prisoners: the
Norwegian prisons had an intellectual disability, to                                                                                         figure below illustrates the difference in suggestibilitiy maintained between
                                                                                                                                             inmates with and without intellectual disabilities
validate a short screening instrument for intellectual
disability, and to study the degree of suggestibility                                                                                                                                                                                               Literature

                                                                                                                                               Suggestibility (GSS)
among people with ID in prisons.                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Hayes, S., Shackell, P., Mottram, P., & Lancaster, R. (2007). The prevalence of
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         intellectual disability in a major UK prison. British Journal of Learning Disabilities,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         35(3), 162-167.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Holland, T., Clare, I. C., & Mukhopadhyay, T. (2002). Prevalence of criminal offending
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         by men and women with intellectual disability and the characteristics of
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         offenders: implications for research and service development. J Intellect Disabil
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Res, 46 Suppl 1, 6-20.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Lindsay, W. R., Hastings, R. P., Griffiths, D. M., & Hayes, S. C. (2007). Trends and
Materials and methods                                                                                                                                                                         ID                   Non ID
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         challenges in forensic research on offenders with intellectual disability. J Intellect
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Dev Disabil, 32(2), 55-61.
Design and sample:                                                                                                                                                     Scores for ID (N=15)        Scores for non ID (N= 123)   F         p-value   Talbot, J., & Riley, C. (2007). No One Knows: offenders with learning
The study design is cross-sectional and there are so far 138                                                                                                                                                                                            difficulties and learning disabilities. British Journal of Learning
                                                                                                                                             GSS                       Mean = 14.0 (sd=6.0)        Mean = 8.4 (sd=4.3)          18.9      0.0001
subjects. The prisons varied in size and graduation of restrictions.                                                                         GCS                       Mean = 13.5 (sd=3.7)        Mean = 9.5 (sd=3.5)          14.2      0.0001        Disabilities, 35(3), 154-161.
There have been an over all uptake of 77% of those selected to
participate in the study.                                                There seems to be an overcrowding in theft/robbery and sexual
                                                                         offences among inmates with intellectual impairments, but the             The discrepance between verbal and Performance tests
Instruments:                                                             difference is not significant. More than half of the whole sample         was characteristic within the whole group of inmates.
• Demographic information was collected by a semi-structured
                                                                         had been convicted several times.                                         Verbal tests were scored at average 10-20 points below
                                                                                                                                                   performance tests. This may have implications to all
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    We thank all the inmates who participated in the study, the prison authorities
•     Additional there was completed four instrument. One                                                                                          parts of the criminal penalty system.                                                            in northern Norway, the governor and management staff of the prisons,
                                                                         Inmates with intellectual impairments participate less in the
intellectual screening instrument, one abbreviated intelligence test     rehabilitation and schooling offered in the prison, although the                                                                                                           without whose cooperation this research could not have been taken.
and two scales of suggestibility. The instruments were translated        difference is not significant. 25% of those with intellectual
into Norwegian, translated back into English and reviewed by the         impairments reported having been examined by a forensic
original author in advance.                                              psychologist or psychiatrist.

                                                                         Inmates with intellectual impairments had been convicted more
                                                                         times than other inmates and they had spent more time in                                                                                                                   For further information
                                                                         prison                                                                                                                                                                     Please contact
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Erik Søndenaa
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    St. Olavs Hospital dep. of Brøset,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Centre of Forensic Research and Education,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    P.O. 1803, Lade, N-7440 Trondheim, Norway
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Tel: +47 73 86 48 32
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