• criminogenic need;
  • intellectual disability;
  • offenders;
  • service response;
  • sexual offending;
  • violence


Background  Research has shown for some time that addressing criminogenic need is one of the crucial aspects of reducing reoffending in all types of offenders. Criminogenic need such as anger or inappropriate sexual interest is considered to be crucial in the commission of the offence. The aim of the present study is to investigate the extent to which forensic services address the needs of those accepted into services.

Method  This study reviews the treatment for 197 offenders with intellectual disability accepted into a range of services. Participants' case files were examined to ascertain the extent to which need was addressed through recognised therapies. A standard pro forma was used on which we had established good reliability across four research assistants.

Results  The most frequently referred problems were violence and sexual offending. Specialist forensic intellectual disability community services were significantly more likely to provide treatment specifically designed to address index behaviours when compared to generic community services and secure services.

Conclusions  Various possible explanations of these findings are explored including staffing levels, diagnosed mental illness, expertise of staff and clarity of purpose in services.