Menu

Advocacy unit probation officers reporting risk factors for young offenders with intellectual or developmental disabilities [2018]

Young people with intellectual or developmental disabilities are over-represented in the juvenile justice system. Unlike young people without disabilities, young offenders with intellectual or developmental disabilities may have assigned probation officers (i.e., advocacy unit probation officers) who understand the contextual risk factors among these young offenders. For this study, we conducted interviews with eight advocacy unit probation officers about the risk factors for young offenders with intellectual or developmental disabilities as well as ways to reduce court involvement. Risk factors for being involved with the juvenile justice system included peer victimisation, inability of the court to explain its procedures, inappropriate school discipline, experiences of living in poverty, and neighbourhood violence. Suggested strategies to reduce the risk for offending included: improving family–school partnerships, increasing special education knowledge among juvenile justice officials, and having schools appropriately address behaviours of students. Implications are discussed.

Matthew T. King, Meghan M. Burke & Heather Dalmage
Research and Practice in Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, Volume 5, 2018 – Issue 2
DOI
Website