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Assessment of mental retardation in prison settings has been hampered by the limitations of intelligence testing and the absence of appropriate adaptive behavior (AB) measures. The present article discusses problems associated with assessing AB, describes the development of the American Association on Mental Deficiency (AAMD) Adaptive Behavior Scale: Syracuse-Prison Version (ABS-SPV), and presents the results of a contrasted-groups validity study. The ABS-SPV effectively discriminated between high-functioning (honor block) inmates and low-functioning (protective custody) inmates. Future research directions are suggested.