State police academies in every state were asked to provide information about initial training for new recruits on the subject of disabilities. It was found that 36 academies provided some training about disabilities in general, but only 16 addressed mental retardation specifically. Of the state academies that provided training about mental retardation, most included only an overview of mental retardation and an assessment of how it differs from other disabilities. Few provided new police officers with specific information about the legal rights of persons with mental retardation or with instruction on appropriate interaction. The article provides recommendations for improved training and for future research.
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