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
Millionaire mom gets 18 years in jail for killing disabled son, 8, in NYC hotel
FILE - In this Aug. 11, 2011, file photo, Gigi Jordan, the multimillionaire mother charged with killing her autistic 8-year-old son, appears in Manhattan Supreme court in New York. (AP Photo/Mary…
Friday, May 29, 2015 12:06:58 AM

Daniel Weintraub: Mentally ill need to be treated with compassion, not as criminals
Elyn Saks has a story that millions of people hide from their friends, their co-workers and even their families. But she wants the world to know about it.Saks suffers from a serious mental disorder.…
Wednesday, May 27, 2015 10:45:38 AM

No Sex Offenders at Nelson Road
After residents in Danby complained vociferously about the placement of two registered sex offenders in Unity House’s recently purchased home for developmentally disabled men on Nelson Road,…
Tuesday, May 19, 2015 9:10:41 AM

First-of-its-kind conference teaches skills to aid people with disabilities
ColaDaily.com is your source for free news and information in Columbia and the Midlands.Sheriff’s deputies, attorneys, corrections officers and other members of the justice system attended a…
Tuesday, May 12, 2015 2:43:49 PM

Advocates talk 'over-criminalization' of mentally ill
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Wednesday, May 06, 2015 4:36:06 PM

Prisons falling behind in treating fetal alcohol cases: Sapers
Prisons are doing a poor job of treating inmates afflicted with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, Correctional Investigator Howard Sapers told a justice and human rights committee Monday…
Wednesday, April 15, 2015 9:51:39 AM

Unfit For Trial, Many With Special Needs Stuck Behind Bars
An inmate sleeps in a room on the 4th floor of the medical unit of the Twin Towers Correctional Facility in Los Angeles. This area houses inmates with the highest level of need — both…
Tuesday, April 14, 2015 7:33:36 PM

Judge approves settlement in disabled inmates case
LOS ANGELES — A federal judge approved a sweeping settlement Monday mandating improvements for inmates using wheelchairs and others with impaired mobility at Los Angeles County jails.Under the…
Monday, March 30, 2015 3:18:10 PM

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