Police reactions to crimes involving people with mental retardation: A cross-cultural experimental study

James K. McAfee, Judith Cockram, Pamela S. Wolfe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Scopus citations

Abstract

Police officers in Western Australia and Pennsylvania were asked to describe their likely responses to crime reports. Some of the reports involved persons with mental retardation who were identified as either victims or alleged assailants of the crimes. Multiple regression analysis of the data using a completely randomized factorial research design revealed that officers responded differently to crimes involving persons with mental retardation. Response patterns were not consistent. That is, in some cases, police were more tolerant of the disability; in others they were less tolerant. Thus police officers were influenced by the presence of mental retardation, but they were unsure how they should react to the disability. Response patterns were not different for Australian and Pennsylvania police. Implications for training and further research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)160-171
Number of pages12
JournalEducation and Training in Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities
Volume36
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Biochemistry

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