Introduction to Forensic Disability

Subject CRIM90012 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

April, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 14-Apr-2016 to 22-Apr-2016
Assessment Period End 22-Jul-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 15-Apr-2016
Census Date 06-May-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 17-Jun-2016

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 40 hours of lectures/seminars/workshops
Total Time Commitment:

In addition to face-to-face teaching time of 40 hours, students should expect to undertake a minimum of 170 hours research, reading, writing and general study to complete this subject successfully.


To enrol in this subject, you must be admitted in GC-CRIMFD. This subject is not available for students admitted in any other courses.

Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering requests for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Commonwealth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this course are articulated in the Course Overview, Objectives and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this course are encouraged to discuss this matter with the Student Equity and Disability Support Team:


Program Coordinator - Rebecca Phelps

Phone - (03) 9810 3320

Email -

Subject Overview:

An examination of psychological assessment and intervention strategies as applied to the special population of offenders with an intellectual disability. Included are considerations of:

  • the postulated link between intellectual ability and offending behaviour (including historical, socio-cultural, biological, psychological and methodological issues);
  • major skills and methods for the assessment of offenders with an intellectual disability;
  • descriptions of, and justifications for, intervention and management programs for this particular group of offenders;
  • issues arising from the characteristics of special needs groups in this population, for example, sex offenders, offenders with dual disability (mental illness as well as intellectual disability);
  • selected legal issues which may involve the clinician dealing with offenders with an intellectual disability; and
  • Philosophical and ethical considerations in this area.
Learning Outcomes:

Students who successfully complete this subject will:

  • Explain and analyse the postulated link between intellectual disability and offending behaviour in the context of historical, socio-cultural, biological, psychological, methodological and profession issues
  • Provide an awareness of specific legal issues facing offenders with an intellectual disability at each stage of their progression through the criminal justice system
  • Describe the principles of clinical assessment for this group and outline some specific techniques of assessment
  • Explain the principles of clinical interventions and methods of evaluating such interventions
  • Provide an appreciation of the legal, philosophical and policy contexts in which much clinical decision-making takes place

The assessment has three parts:

  • Individual written case study analysis (3,000 words), due eight weeks after the intensive delivery (75%)
  • Oral presentation 20-25 minutes plus 5-10 minutes Q&A time (approx. 2000 words equivalent); completed in class and in pairs; due at the end of the intensive delivery (20%)
  • Individual commentary on peer presentation (5 mins, approx. 500 word equivalent); due at the end of the intensive delivery (5%)
Prescribed Texts: None
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

Students who successfully complete this subject should have:
• achieve a capacity for independent critical thought, rational inquiry and self-directed learning;
• Achieve an ability to incorporate theoretical principles and concepts into professional practice;

Links to further information:
Related Course(s): Specialist Certificate in Criminology (Forensic Disability)

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