Evaluating Intellectual Disability Screening in a Correctional Setting
Intellectual disability (ID) is overrepresented in the U.S. criminal justice system (CJS). Intellectually disabled individuals in the CJS face a range of vulnerabilities, from misapprehending fundamental legal rights to increased rates of victimization during incarceration. Consequently, early, accurate screening for ID among defendants is essential to protect their rights and safety. However, little research has examined the classification accuracy of ID screening in correctional settings, and no published studies have done so in the United States. The purpose of this study was to evaluate and compare the concurrent validity and classification accuracy of ID screening at Rikers Island (the Rikers Island Screening Questions; RISQs) and those of three ID screening tools, the Hayes Ability Screening Index (HASI), the Learning Disability Screening Questionnaire (LDSQ), and the Rapid Assessment of Potential Intellectual Disability (RAPID). This study also included exploratory analyses of the items comprising these tools and two selected items from the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) to identify an item group that could comprise a new ID screening tool. It was hypothesized that the RISQs and RAPID would display poor concurrent validity and classification accuracy given that they are comprised solely of self-report items, that the HASI and LDSQ would display good concurrent validity and classification accuracy as they incorporate performance-based items, and that exploratory, item-level analyses would yield a group of items displaying stronger classification accuracy than the RISQs, HASI, LDSQ, and RAPID. ID was assessed using the Wechsler Abbreviated Scale of Intelligence, Second Edition, and the Problems in Everyday Living Test. The study sample was comprised of 201 adult Rikers Island inmates. The RISQs and RAPID generally displayed poor overall concurrent validity and classification accuracy. The LDSQ also generally displayed poor concurrent validity and classification accuracy. The HASI displayed moderate concurrent validity and classification accuracy overall, failing to perform as well as expected but emerging as the tool with the greatest potential utility among those examined in this study. Exploratory analyses identified a four-item group that displayed good classification accuracy, although this group did not display significantly stronger classification accuracy than the tools from which they were drawn.
Clinical psychology|Disability studies|Criminology
Wijetunga, Charity, "Evaluating Intellectual Disability Screening in a Correctional Setting" (2020). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI27995585.