The effect of competency restoration training on defendants with mental retardation found not competent to proceed

Law Hum Behav. 2002 Jun;26(3):343-51. doi: 10.1023/a:1015328505884.


The present investigation focused on the reevaluations of "competency to stand trial" (CST) of 75 criminal defendants with mental retardation (MR) who were originally found incompetent and who were referred for treatment. The effect of competency restoration training was examined. Site of training was also investigated. Because habilitation facilities are specially designed to help individuals with MR, it was suspected that training at habilitation centers would have a greater effect on restoration of defendants with MR than the training at state hospitals. Results showed that significantly more defendants did not gain competency following training than those who did. Analysis revealed that (a) higher IQ and (b) being African American rather than Caucasian American were predictive of restoration. When discriminating factors were held constant, site of training did not significantly affect competency restoration. Possible explanations for this finding were discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Crime / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intellectual Disability / diagnosis
  • Intellectual Disability / rehabilitation*
  • Intelligence
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Mental Competency / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Missouri
  • Prisoners / psychology*
  • Prognosis