Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation


Social Work


Social Work

First Advisor

Dr. David D. Royse


State run public guardianship programs are legally mandated to provide custodial care for persons deemed incapacitated by the courts. Historically, the majority of state wards were elderly women residing in skilled nursing facilities. Today, those demographics are rapidly changing. This new incapacitated cohort has become less institutionalized, with a rising number of persons who have entered the program with criminal records and who continue to commit crimes. This exploratory study focuses on incapacitated persons (IP) with criminal behaviors in order to seek what intervention(s) might reduce their criminal activity. Relying on routine activity theory, differing levels of supervision were compared to those persons institutionalized 24 hours per day. The results of the study indicated that as levels of residential supervision decrease, criminal activities significantly increase. This study can assist administrators of public guardianship programs better understanding the supervisory needs of their incapacitated citizens as well as improve safety precautions for their respective communities.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

Included in

Social Work Commons