Violent offenders in a deaf prison population

J Deaf Stud Deaf Educ. 2005 Fall;10(4):417-25. doi: 10.1093/deafed/eni039. Epub 2005 Jul 6.


Previous research suggested an unexplained difference in the patterns of offending behaviors among deaf people when compared to hearing people. This study, conducted in Texas, compares the incidence and types of violent offenses of a deaf prison population in comparison to the hearing prison population. Sixty-four percent of deaf prisoners were incarcerated for violent offenses in comparison to 49% of the overall state prison offender population. This finding is consistent with previous research. The most significant difference between the populations was found in the category of sexual assault, which represented 32.3% of deaf offenders in contrast to 12.3% of hearing state prison inmates overall. Factors potentially impacting violent offending by deaf persons are their vulnerability to child sexual abuse, use of chemicals, educational histories, and development of language and communication skills. Additionally, there is a widespread lack of accessible intervention and treatment services available to deaf sex offenders across the nation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Achievement
  • Adult
  • Deafness / epidemiology*
  • Educational Status
  • Ethnicity
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prisoners / statistics & numerical data*
  • Violence / statistics & numerical data*