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Cultural Dissonance of Deaf Criminal Offenders: Antecedents of Linguistic and Cultural Dissonance

NCJ Number
Journal of Knowledge and Best Practices in Juvenile Justice and Psychology Volume: 1 Issue: 1 Dated: 2006 Pages: 11-24
Aviva Twersky-Glasner
Date Published
14 pages
This article examined factors that derive from the theoretical orientation of biological, sociological, and psychological elements for its ability to explain deaf and hard of hearing criminality.
There is a small population of criminal offenders whose behavior cannot be explained by any current theories; one such group is the deaf and hard of hearing offender. Little research has been done on an aggregate of deaf offenders, breaking down the population by offense, type, and level of severity. Even less has been written about the familial, educational, and peer relational antecedents of offending by the deaf. Efforts to understand deaf and hard of hearing offender criminality need to take into account a number of important sociological, and psychological factors that result from linguistic development delay and cultural dissonance that are unique to this population. Combining the three perspectives of biological, sociological, and psychological theories into one integrated theory is a step in understanding the unique population of deaf offenders. Theories such as strain, labeling, and secondary deviance, and developmental theories are particularly promising. This article examined the unique circumstances that might contribute to the development of criminality in this small group. Also, by distinguishing between the culturally deaf and the non-culturally deaf person, an attempt will be made to show how that difference might also be an important factor in the development of criminality. In order to develop the best, most efficient, and most useful strategies of intervention and rehabilitation, it is important to attempt to learn as much as possible about deaf criminal offenders. References