Sexual and nonsexual offenders with intellectual and learning disabilities: a comparison of characteristics, referral patterns, and outcome

J Interpers Violence. 2004 Aug;19(8):875-90. doi: 10.1177/0886260504266884.


This article reports an evaluation of a community intellectual disability offender service over the period from 1990 to 2001. Men who committed sex offenses or sexually abusive incidents (n = 106) and men who committed other types of offenses and serious incidents (n = 78) are compared on personal characteristics, referral sources, forensic details, and outcome up to 7 years after referral. The cohorts are older than one would expect from the criminology literature, and, at about 33%, the incidence of mental illness is consistent with some previous studies. A greater proportion of sex offenders had criminal justice involvement and a formal disposal from court. Fire raising was not overly represented as an offense. There was a higher rate of reoffending in the nonsexual cohort, which persisted up to 7 years. Investigating only reoffenders, there was a considerable amount of harm reduction recorded up to 7 years, statistically significant up to 5 years following initial referral.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Cohort Studies
  • Dangerous Behavior
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Intellectual Disability / epidemiology*
  • Intellectual Disability / therapy
  • Male
  • Recurrence
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Scotland / epidemiology
  • Sex Offenses / psychology
  • Sex Offenses / statistics & numerical data*
  • Violence / psychology
  • Violence / statistics & numerical data*