Routledge Handbook on Offenders with Special Needs  book cover
1st Edition

Routledge Handbook on Offenders with Special Needs

Edited By

Kimberly D. Dodson

ISBN 9780367819156
Published October 18, 2019 by Routledge
560 Pages 10 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Current estimates indicate that approximately 2.2 million people are incarcerated in federal, state, and local correctional facilities across the United States. There are another 5 million under community correctional supervision. Many of these individuals fall into the classification of special needs or special populations (e.g., women, juveniles, substance abusers, mentally ill, aging, chronically or terminally ill offenders). Medical care and treatment costs represent the largest portion of correctional budgets, and estimates suggest that these costs will continue to rise. In the community, probation and parole officers are responsible for helping special needs offenders find appropriate treatment resources. Therefore, it is important to understand the needs of these special populations and how to effectively care for and address their individual concerns.

The Routledge Handbook of Offenders with Special Needs is an in-depth examination of offenders with special needs, such as those who are learning-challenged, developmentally disabled, and mentally ill, as well as substance abusers, sex offenders, women, juveniles, and chronically and terminally ill offenders. Areas that previously have been unexamined (or examined in a limited way) are explored. For example, this text carefully examines the treatment of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender offenders, and racial and gender disparities in health care delivery, as well as pregnancy and parenthood behind bars, homelessness, and the incarceration of veterans and immigrants. In addition, the book presents legal and management issues related to the treatment and rehabilitation of special populations in prisons/jails and the community, including police-citizen interactions, diversion through specialty courts, obstacles and challenges related to reentry and reintegration, and the need for the development and implementation of evidence-based criminal justice policies and practices.

This is a key collection for students taking courses in prisons, penology, criminal justice, criminology, and related areas of study, and an essential resource for academics and practitioners working with offenders with special needs.

Table of Contents

1. Challenges Criminal Justice Practitioners and Treatment Professionals Encounter with Special Needs Offenders Kimberly D. Dodson
Part I: Administration and Management Issues
2. Constitutional and Legal Issues: Tracing the Legal Landscape from Entry to Release Kwan-Lamar Blount-Hill and Beverly Blount-Hill
3. Specialty Courts: Funneling Offenders with Special Needs Out of the Criminal Justice System Cassandra A. Atkin-Plunk and Lincoln B.Sloas
4. Special Needs Correctional and Community Facilities: Designing for Inmates with Special Needs John H. Weigel and Sydney M. Kennedy
5. Specialized or Segregated Housing Units: Implementing the Principles of Risk, Needs, and Responsivity Ryan M. Labrecque
6. Administrative and Treatment Issues When Jailing Offenders with Special Needs: Negotiating Limited Resources Jennifer Guriel Myers
Part II: Special Populations
7. Women Offenders: Gender-Responsive Treatment During Incarceration and Reentry Lisa M. Carter
8. Parenting Behind Bars: The Experiences of Incarcerated Mothers and Fathers Michael B. Mitchell, Kimberly D. Dodson, and LeAnn N. Cabage
9. Juvenile Offenders: Diverting Youth and Utilizing Evidence-Based Practices Riane M. Bolin
10. Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Offenders: Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, and Incarceration Chris Wakefield and Andrew L. Spivak
11. Incarcerating the Homeless: Risk Factors and Promising Strategies for Reentry Shelley J. Listwan, Laura Barber, and Deborah Koetzle
12. Incarcerated Veterans: Confronting Military Service Struggles through Treatment and Diversion LeAnn N. Cabage
13. Immigrant Prisoners: Conditions of Confinement and Institutional Abuses Jodie M. Lawston
14. Prison Gangs: Identification, Management, and Renunciation Robert D. Hanser
15. Suicidal Prisoners: Identifying Suicide Risk and Implementing Preventative Policies Christine Tartaro
16. Death Row Inmates: Housing and Management Issues Cedric Michel
Part III: Medical and Mental Health Issues
17. Prisoners with Mental Illness: Treatment Challenges and Solutions Andrea Cantora and Tiffaney Parkman
18. Substance Abuse: Screening, Assessment, Planning, and Treatment Robert D. Hanser
19. Offenders with Co-Occurring Disorders: Mental Health and Substance Abuse Treatment Jerrod Brown, Jeffrey Haun, and Anthony Wartnik
20. Offenders with Physical Disabilities: Experiences Across the Criminal Justice System Margaret E. Leigey and Victoria M. Smiegocki
21. Aging Behind Bars: Assessing the Healthcare Needs of Graying Prisoners Mary E. Harrison Joynt and Alex Bishop
22. Chronic and Terminal Illness: Providing End-of-Life Care to Dying Prisoners Kimberly D. Dodson
23. Offenders with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities: Contact with the Criminal Justice System James R. Patton and Edward A. Polloway
24. Sex Offenders with Intellectual Disabilities: Deficits and Risk Factors for Sexual Offending Jerrod Brown, Cody Charette, Aaron Trnka, Diane Neal, and Janina Cich
25. Offenders with Learning Disabilities or Special Education Needs: Applying DEAR. and BASE Models Jerrod Brown, Jeffrey Haun, Elizabeth Quinby, and Deborah Eckberg
26. Forgotten Populations: Racial, Ethnic, and Gender Health Care Disparities Adam K. Matz
Part IV: Treatment in the Community
27. Policing Special Needs Offenders: Implementing Training to Improve Police-Citizen Encounters Bradley D. Edwards and Jennifer Pealer
28. Treating Offenders with Specialized Needs in the Community: Constructing Community and Social Support Systems Aida I. Diaz-La Cilento
29. Reentry and Reintegration of Adult Special Populations: Community Involvement, Police Partnerships, and Reentry Councils Robert D. Hanser
30. Developing and Implementing Evidence-Based Policies and Practices: Improving Offender Treatment Outcomes Kimberly D. Dodson, LeAnn N. Cabage, and Hannah L. Brown

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Kimberly D. Dodson, Ph.D., is an associate professor and criminology program director in the Department of Social and Cultural Sciences at the University of Houston—Clear Lake. She received her Ph.D. in criminology from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Her research interests include offenders with special needs, correctional policy and program evaluation, and racial and gender inequalities in the criminal justice system. She formerly worked for as a criminal investigator for the Greene County Sheriff’s Department in Greeneville, Tennessee. Dodson currently serves as the chair of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences Minorities and Women Section.


At long last—a comprehensive resource for academic and criminal justice professionals that addresses the complex and unique needs of a broad range of offenders in need of special care, treatment, and management across the criminal justice system. Drawing on her special advocacy for her brother, Zack, Kimberly Dodson has assembled research that examines all aspects of special offender needs—from unique barriers specific to each need—to emerging, innovative, and evidence-based programs and approaches that offer support for more humane, proactive, and targeted criminal justice policies and practices.

Rosemary L. Gido, Ph.D., Professor Emerita, Department of Criminology, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Editor, Women’s Mental Health Issues Across the Criminal Justice System

The average American inmate is nothing close to "average," as the majority of those incarcerated in our prisons and jails have a litany of special needs. Dodson and colleagues provide a thorough examination of these inmates, providing insight into the troubled and frustrating world of men and women whose needs are often not met and challenging the notion that reintegration should be a seamless transition for the thousands reentering society each year. I look forward to using it in my own classroom.

Cathy D. Marcum, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Government and Justice Studies, Appalachian State University

The dispensation of justice in corrections requires individualized treatment. The current movement away from a belief in an ethic of penal harm to an era of penal help among correctional practitioners and scholars also signals the need for compassionate and science-based care for those incarcerated in jails and prisons. In Kimberly Dodson’s edited book, Handbook on Offenders with Special Needs, the authors provide a systematic and valuable delineation of who among these inmates needs specialized care and how it might best be delivered in a manner that is just, appropriate, and befitting a country that professes an evolving sense of decency.

Mary K. Stohr, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology, Washington State University

The Handbook on Offenders with Special Needs is a must read for those interested in learning about the various challenges and concerns that impact special needs offenders and the people who care for them. Topics include administration and management, special populations, medical and mental health, and treatment in the community.

Michael Bush, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, Criminal Justice, and Organizational Leadership, Northern Kentucky University

This collection of original articles on offenders with special needs covers all the bases—mental health, medical, special populations, community based treatment, and administration. From legal issues and the role of law enforcement to specific recommendations for special populations like the homeless, incarcerated veterans, and other often overlooked and underserved groups, this volume offers a long overdue contribution to both researchers and practitioners. The Handbook on Offenders with Special Needs is both innovative and thorough in helping the reader to better understand special needs offenders as well as offering insights concerning how to more effectively treat and whenever possible, reintegrate them into their respective communities.

Michael Braswell, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology, East Tennessee State University