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Prisoners with Special Needs




“Special needs offenders are incarcerated offenders with special needs stemming

from their physical or mental age or other disabilities. Special needs can encompass many

types of conditions like :offenders with severe psychological needs, mental retardation,

significant psychiatric disorders, behavior disorders, multiple handicaps, neurological

impairment and substance abuse; or offenders with physical handicaps, or chronic or

terminal illnesses; or elderly offenders; or offenders with severe social and/or educational

deficiencies, learning disabilities or language barriers; or offenders with special security

or supervision needs, such as protective custody cases, death row inmates and those who

chronically exhibit potential or aggressive behavior; or sex offenders, for whom

appropriate treatment may reduce the risk of reoffending” ("Special Needs Offender Law

& Legal Definition", n.d.). 

As more inmates are found guilty and are given prison sentences the prison

system has to focus on separating special needs offenders. This separation is necessary to

insure safety and balance within the facility. The special needs population can affect both

the state and federal level of incarceration because they must gather accurate date. Putting

offenders with different needs together can lead to violence issues among inmates. There

is also an increase possibility of mental and emotion strain on all ready unstable prisoners

“Correctional agencies today face many serious management problems that they did not

have in the past as a result of the increasing proportion of the correctional population that

may be termed as special offenders. The increasing number and percentage of the

population that are drug offenders, mentally ill…...

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