Characteristics and carceral experience for persons with and without intellectual and developmental disabilities in a southeastern US state prison system Open Access

Mahar, Ernestine (Fall 2021)

Permanent URL:


Intellectual, neurodevelopmental, and developmental disabilities (ID/ND) in prison populations are highly prevalent compared with the community. We conducted a cross-sectional study of all persons who resided in a southeastern US state prison system on January 1, 2017. Our goal was to describe the ID/ND population and delineate their experiential differences from their neurotypical (NT) peers. Our hypothesis was that those with ID/ND do not have the same experience before and while imprisoned compared to their neurotypical peers. They had higher levels of mental health services classified as inpatient/severe during their entire health history (OR 3.99 p<0.0001) and for their most recent mental health record (OR 4.53 p<0.0001). They had twice the prevalence of HIV compared to their NT peers (2.5% vs. 1.2%), were more likely to live under higher security settings (high = 24.8% vs 26.0%; medium = 68.1% vs 65.0%; minimum = 6.9% vs 8.8%), have had prior incarcerations on their criminal record (no previous incarcerations = 45.3% vs 59.0), and spend more time in the prison system (10 versus 8 years). Since ID/ND persons in our study utilized mental health services at high levels, carceral programming for persons with ID/ND should account for their high behavioral health needs.

Table of Contents

Abstract Page 4

Introduction Page 6

Methods and Materials Page 7

Results Page 8

Discussion Page 9

Next Steps Page 14

Figures and Tables Page 15

About this Master's Thesis

Rights statement
  • Permission granted by the author to include this thesis or dissertation in this repository. All rights reserved by the author. Please contact the author for information regarding the reproduction and use of this thesis or dissertation.
  • English
Research Field
Committee Chair / Thesis Advisor
Last modified

Primary PDF

Supplemental Files