Community services and people with intellectual disabilities who engage in anti-social or offending behaviour: Referral rates, characteristics, and care pathways

Jessica R. Wheeler*, Anthony J. Holland, Marie Bambrick, William R. Lindsay, Derek Carson, Lesley Steptoe, Susan Johnston, John L. Taylor, Claire Middleton, Karen Price, Gregory O'Brien

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Provision of health and social support to people who engage in anti-social or offending behaviour and have intellectual disabilities (ID) remains a challenge to services. Numerous population studies have produced contradictory findings with reviews calling for the development of more fruitful approaches and recommending investigation of the care pathways operating within ID services. This study reports on the pathways through services encountered by adults with offending or anti-social behaviour referred to 15 UK community ID services in 2002. Pathways through services were tracked for 24 months post referral. Referral rates, demographic characteristics, and associations with anti-social or offending behaviour were statistically analysed for 237 cases. Most referrals originated from the local community (66%); a high proportion were female (40.5%). Community services appeared encapsulated, serving adults with offending behaviour over the long term, but predominantly (74%) those already known to local ID services. Implications for services and future research strategies are considered.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)717-740
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Forensic Psychiatry and Psychology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 13 Oct 2009
Externally publishedYes


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