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Demographic Variables Associated With Competence To Stand Trial Referral and Evaluation of Criminal Defendants With Mental Retardation

NCJ Number
Journal of Psychiatry and Law Dated: (Winter 1989) Pages: 627-640
Date Published
14 pages
Ninety-three offenders divided into four groups -- mentally typical defendants, mentally retarded defendants not referred for competence evaluation, and mentally retarded defendants recommended as competent or incompetent -- were compared at the pre-trial level on selected demographic variables.
The findings suggest that mentally typical defendants were most likely to be on pretrial release and that mentally retarded offenders who had been found incompetent to stand trial were most likely to have been charged with personal crimes. There were no significant differences among the groups in terms of prior offenses or between the groups who had mental retardation in IQ score or in the presence of dual diagnosis. However, a further comparison between defendants referred for competence evaluations and those not referred found that the former group was more likely to have a dual diagnosis. This study suggests a need for future research into the relationship between offender characteristics, charge, and dispositional alternatives and competence referral and determination. 3 tables and 26 notes

Date Published: January 1, 1989