Pre-Trial Reported Defendants in the Netherlands with Intellectual Disability, Borderline and Normal Intellectual Functioning

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Abstract

Background

Intellectually disabled offenders may have different characteristics than offenders with average intellectual functioning. We therefore compared pre-trial reported defendants with an IQ score ≤70, 71–84 and ≥85 points.

Methods

Nationwide database of pre-trial psychiatric reports requested by Dutch courts between 2000 and 2006 with a reported level of intellectual functioning (n = 12 186).

Results

Defendants with an IQ score between 71 and 84 (n = 2 439 reports; 20.0%) and ≤70 (n = 539 reports; 4.4%) were younger, more often from an ethnic minority and more often diagnosed with psycho-organic syndromes, developmental and conduct disorders as compared with defendants with an IQ score of 85 or higher. In addition, there was an increased risk of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and rape as indicted crime and a decreased odds ratio of having a steady job and cannabis abuse in defendants with an IQ score of 71–84.

Conclusion

Intellectually disabled defendants have different characteristics than defendants without intellectually disability.

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