NCCJD Activities

The Arc CEO gives address to Civil Rights Act anniversary event
The Department of Justice Community Relations Service (CRS) contacted NCCJD to request a panelist for an event celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act. On July 14, 2014, The Arc’s CEO, Peter Berns, provided remarks at the White House CRS Session entitled: Civil Rights and Hate Crimes Prevention Act: Impact and Best Practices. Mr. Berns addressed the difficulties of prosecuting hate crimes based on disability, including both the statute’s requirement that the crime be in or affecting interstate commerce, and the lack of criteria for law enforcement officers trying to identify a hate crime because a person has a disability. Because of these difficulties, crimes are often prosecuted as hate crimes based on another protected class—for instance race—and the disability issues are underplayed, reinforcing an environment where attackers feel they can victimize people with disabilities with impunity. CRS has worked with chapters of The Arc in the past regarding hate crime situations. CRS helps local communities address community conflicts and tensions arising from differences and helps communities develop strategies to prevent and respond to violent hate crimes.

NCCJD provides consultation for Vera Institute of Justice’s Blueprint to End Sexual Abuse of Children with Disabilities
NCCJD will be participating in a Vera Institute of Justice Roundtable August 5-6, 2014 in Columbus, Ohio. Vera’s Center on Victimization and Safety is working in partnership with the Ms. Foundation to create a blueprint for a national strategy to end sexual abuse of children with disabilities and Deaf children. The three-prong approach to the blueprint includes:

  1. Addressing barriers children with disabilities and Deaf children experience when accessing services;
  2. Articulating effective approaches to holding those who sexually abuse children with disabilities accountable; and
  3. Identifying/developing disability-informed primary prevention tactics that account for the unique dynamics in the lives of children with disabilities.

This is part of NCCJD’s continued partnership with Vera to effectively address this issue, especially as it relates to children with intellectual and developmental disabilities. NCCJD previously provided consultation for Vera’s issue brief on this important topic.

The Arc Applauds Stay of Execution of Robert Campbell, Vows to Continue Legal Advocacy Efforts
NCCJD is grateful that the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the Supreme Court’s ruling, saving Robert Campbell’s life. While we can appreciate justice being served, we were far too close to witnessing a grave miscarriage of justice. There are still many questions surrounding this trial, and we hope to hear answers as to why evidence regarding Mr. Campbell’s IQ was withheld until very recently. In a life or death situation, it is disturbing that all the facts were not being presented.

NCCJD provides written testimony for Senate hearing
On April 29, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), the Senate’s Assistant Majority Leader and Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Human Rights, chaired a hearing entitled “Law Enforcement Responses to Disabled Americans: Promising Approaches for Protecting Public Safety.” Because of inadequate social and mental health services, law enforcement officers have increasingly become the first responders for individuals with mental illness or intellectual/developmental disabilities who are in crisis. Recent high-profile tragedies demonstrate the need for law enforcement officers to receive additional training to safely address these situations. NCCJD provided written testimony, as did a number of NCCJD’s National Advisory Committee members.

Headlines

NCCJD's Reading List - Readability
Nearly all Denver jail inmates in high-risk unit have brain trauma
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Monday, March 09, 2015 4:37:02 AM

The Modern Asylum
LAST month, three ethicists from the University of Pennsylvania argued in the Journal of the American Medical Association that the movement to deinstitutionalize the mentally ill has been a failure.…
Wednesday, February 18, 2015 3:45:36 PM

A pardon can begin treatment
The Virginian-Pilot© January 22, 2015 Keeping a young man in prison for assaults prompted by mental disabilities, not criminal intent, is not justice. A veteran police officer, a…
Thursday, January 22, 2015 11:43:58 AM

Child-molestation victim grows up, has baby with teen brother, now is sex offender (video)
A 25-year-old Portland woman who investigators say admitted to having sex 10 times with her developmentally disabled brother -- then giving birth to their baby -- will avoid prison in favor of mental…
Wednesday, January 07, 2015 3:56:51 PM

How the U.S. Justice System Screws Prisoners with Disabilities
Andrew Paterson/Alamy
Tuesday, December 16, 2014 6:13:15 AM

Police, Church Replace Stolen Basketball Hoop
When a heartless crime left a special needs man without his favorite possession, Arlington Police and church leaders came to his rescue. (Published Thursday, Dec 11, 2014)
Friday, December 12, 2014 8:45:24 AM

Grandma charged in 'bizarre' slaying of son, baby girl
In what law officials called a "crazy and bizarre" criminal case, a 65-year-old Addison Township woman has been charged with first-degree murder in the throat-slitting death of her 29-year-old son…
Thursday, December 11, 2014 12:57:44 PM

LAUSD expert: Low IQ can mean less suffering from sex abuse
A psychologist hired by LAUSD testified last year that a 9-year-old girl's low IQ provided a "protective factor" that could reduce the amount of emotional stress she experienced from a sexual…
Monday, November 24, 2014 2:37:16 PM

A Prison Where 'No One Picks On You For Being Slow'
October 28, 2014 08:45:48 am By Patricia Murphy Photo Credit: Amy Czerwinski Prison is no place to be vulnerable. For inmates with intellectual disabilities, autism or traumatic brain injury, it can…
Wednesday, November 05, 2014 10:22:07 AM

Special education too often leads to jail
GRENADA – Cody Beck was 12-years -old when he was handcuffed in front of several classmates and put in the back of a police car outside of Grenada Middle School. Cody had lost his temper in an…
Tuesday, October 28, 2014 9:11:13 AM