An analysis of the relationship between being deaf and sexual offending

L.H. Williamson, Amy R. Grubb

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Abstract

Research demonstrates that deaf offenders are over-represented within the criminal justice system. In addition, those deaf offenders who are incarcerated within prison estates or psychiatric units are predominantly incarcerated for sexual offences. This paper will evaluate the existing literature surrounding the reasons behind this bias. In particular, this review will examine the characteristics of deaf offenders in relation to their personalities, language and brain development and abilities to communicate. This paper will consider proposed associations between mental illness and childhood sexual abuse amongst deaf individuals and later sexual offending. This paper attempts to evidence differences between deaf and hearing offenders in order to explain why more deaf offenders commit sexual crimes than hearing offenders. This paper will conclude that the research is scarce and inconclusive and that current assessments and treatment are potentially inadequate due to the profound difficulties associated with accurately understanding and communicating with the deaf offender. Publisher statement: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in the Journal of Sexual Aggression on 10th October 2013, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13552600.2013.842001 .
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)224-243
JournalJournal of Sexual Aggression
Volume21
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Bibliographical note

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in the Journal of Sexual Aggression on 10th October 2013, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13552600.2013.842001 .

Keywords

  • Deaf
  • hearing
  • non-hearing
  • offenders
  • sexual offending

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