Kentucky Kentucky



Competency/ Insanity




A person is not responsible for criminal conduct if at the time of such conduct, as a result of mental illness or intellectual disability, he lacks substantial capacity either to appreciate the criminality of his conduct or to conform his conduct to the requirements of law. KRS 504.020 (Chapter 504 discusses procedure, reports, and determinations).  

Guilty but mentally ill. KRS 504.130

Special Rules

Good time: Sex offenders can earn good time for completing a sex offender treatment program, but the law is not applicable to offenders with intellectual disabilities. KRS 197.045

Prior to trial, the court may have a hearing (upon motion of defendant) to determine if a defendant is “mentally retarded.” KRS 532.135

Definition of mentally retarded for purposes of related statutes (KRS 532.135 and 532.140) – “A defendant with significant subaverage intellectual functioning existing concurrently with substantial deficeits in adaptive behavior and manifested during the developmental period… Significantly subaverage general intellectual functioning is defined as an intelligence quotient (IQ) of 70 or below. KRS 532.130

Law enforcement training: All search and rescue courses must include at least 30 minutes of training on behavior of those with developmental disabilities or traumatic brain damage. KRS 39F.220



Death Penalty

No offender that has been determined to be “seriously mentally retarded” can be subject to execution. KRS 532.140

Before imposing the death penalty, there must be a hearing to evaluate mitigating (including I/DD) and aggravating factors. KRS 532.025


All new inmates coming to prison must be screened for mental health risk, including the presence of intellectual disabilities. KRS 441.048