Why do some people with intellectual disability engage in offending behaviour and what can we do about it?

William R. Lindsay, Richard P. Hastings, Nigel Beail

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorial

6 Citations (Scopus)


The field of forensic intellectual disabilities has been developing rapidly over the last 15 years. Much of the work has been built on research in mainstream criminality but more recently studies have emerged that reveal issues specific to offenders with intellectual disability.

Research on pathways into offending is reviewed with reference to its relevance to the field of intellectual disability. We also summarize some findings on pathways into and through services for offenders with intellectual disability.

Studies reveal that developmental adversity is an important risk variable. Previous and recent aggression are potent risk factors. New evidence suggests that immediate, proximal risk factors may be more important in this client group. The studies in this issue add to the knowledge on pathways into offending, important areas for assessment and effective treatments as well as advancing knowledge in the academic literature on general criminality.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)351-356
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities
Issue number5
Early online date8 Aug 2013
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2013
Externally publishedYes


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