Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Hardman, Alisha

Committee Member

Peterson, Donna

Committee Member

Phillips, Tommy

Date of Degree


Original embargo terms

MSU Only Indefinitely

Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Campus Access Only


Human Development and Family Studies

Degree Name

Master of Science


College of Agriculture and Life Sciences


School of Human Sciences


Youth in detention centers often have intellectual disabilities. Correctional officers often they lack the knowledge and training needed to work with these youths. The purpose of this study was to determine how much knowledge and training correctional officers have about the youth that they work with, specifically, youth with intellectual disabilities. Four detention centers from the southeastern United States were chosen to participate in the study and the population of interest was comprised of correctional officers who work with youth in juvenile detention centers. Surveys were administered through a combination of pencil/paper and online administration as a result of institutional preferences. The results of this study suggested that correctional officers do not receive the level of education and training (formal, informal, on-the-job, or elsewhere) necessary to work with youth who have intellectual disabilities.