Authors

Paige Dunlap

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2016

Abstract

The prevalence of offenders with intellectual disabilities (ID) is increasing. Studies have shown that although most probation officers will have offenders with ID on their caseload, these officers have received minimal training to effectively interact with this population. Additionally, no studies have assessed probation officers' knowledge of people with ID. This study has two aims: to pilot test the Probation Officer Knowledge of Intellectual Disabilities Assessment, and to evaluate the instrument's reliability and validity. Test-retest, internal consistency, item-total correlation, Cronbach's alpha, item difficulty, and construct validity were assessed for the instrument. Descriptive statistics and reliability coefficients analysis were conducted. The successful development of knowledge domains established content validity of the newly developed assessment. However, the instrument yielded poor reliability coefficient results. To date, no assessments were identified that offered support for training staff working with offenders with ID. The criminal justice system can use content domains on this newly developed instrument to evaluate training needs and determine effective interventions. As this was the first investigation into probation officers' knowledge of people with ID, the possibilities of continuing this research are vast.

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