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Challenging hegemonic understandings in compulsory risk management and rehabilitation of intellectually disabled offenders through curriculum design

Margaret McLean and Frances Hartnett


This article examines the possibilities for challenging hegemonic understandings associated with the rehabilitation of intellectually disabled offenders detained for compulsory care and management, through the design of a tertiary diploma programme. The curriculum was developed to prepare care co-ordinators and care managers appointed to administer a piece of New Zealand legislation, the Intellectual Disability (Compulsory Care and Rehabilitation) Act 2003. The potential of curriculum to be counterhegemonic is examined in relation to curriculum theory, and the dilemmas and paradoxes inherent in the legislation. Student feedback indicated that a small number of practitioners who participated in the diploma programme were encouraged to challenge restrictive practices and attitudes.

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