Offenders With Cognitive Disorders

People with cognitive impairments are at greater risk of involvement in the criminal justice system, both as young people and as persistent adult offenders. This entry describes the wide range of cognitive impairments, and the disorders through which they typically manifest, and considers the relationships between cognitive impairments and criminality.

Cognitive Impairments and Related Disorders

Cognition is a general term for the mental processes involved in acquiring new knowledge and applying existing knowledge. It therefore incorporates a range of specific processes, including those associated with attention, comprehension, memory, reasoning, evaluation, and decision-making. It is also closely related to the comprehension and production of language and to thinking, perception, and imagination.

Such processes can be unconscious and automated, as is the case when performing a task with which one ...

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