Criminal Justice and Disability Resources (General Audience)

Table of Contents


Aiming to Reduce Time-In-Cell

This report offers statistics from correctional systems on the numbers of prisoners in restricted housing and on the potential of various policy changes to bring about reforms.  The document concludes by outlining the definition of “serious mental illness” in each state.

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Assessing the Use of Law Enforcement by Youth Residential Service Providers

This report, released by Disability Rights Maine, analyzes why Maine’s youth with disabilities are disproportionately arrested, criminally charged, and incarcerated.  Additionally, it offers recommendations for reform. 

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Bullies in Blue: The Origins and Consequences of School Policing

This resource is a report covering the origins of school policing and its costs; as well as an evaluation of the school-police partnership and its impact on students’ rights.

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Caged In: The Devastating Harms of Solitary Confinement on Prisoners with Physical Disabilities

This report provides a first-ever national account of the suffering prisoners with physical disabilities experience in solitary confinement. It spotlights the dangers for blind people, deaf people, people who are unable to walk without assistance, and people with other physical disabilities who are being held in small cells for 22 hours a day or longer, for days, months, and even years.

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Crime Against Persons with Disabilities, 2009-2014

This report provides estimates of nonfatal violent crime (rape or sexual assault, robbery, simple assault, and aggravated assault) against persons with disabilities age 12 or older. Disabilities are classified into six categories: hearing, vision, cognitive, ambulatory, self-care, and independent living.

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Criminal Justice & The Americans with Disabilities Act 

This legal brief addresses the broad topic of criminal justice as it relates to people with disabilities, and provides an overview of the relevant statutory text and regulations under the Americans with Disabilities Act, important case law and settlement agreements, and applicable constitutional provisions.

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Disability and Abuse Project

This project addresses the physical, sexual, and emotional abuse of people with developmental or intellectual disabilities by providing training and materials for multiple audiences in the criminal justice system. Mission: To identify ways to reduce the risk of abuse, to promote healing for victims, and to seek justice for those who have been victimized. Action Areas: Public awareness, education and training, policy development, law enforcement, and professional consulting.

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Disability & Hate Crimes Laws 

This resource provides general information on hate crimes statutes in various states, focusing on hate crimes laws that carry criminal offenses and sentences.

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Effective Solutions to South Carolina’s Juvenile Justice Crisis: Safety, Rehabilitation, and Fiscal Responsibility

This report is a call to action to address the long-standing problems in how we treat juveniles charged with crimes and to set South Carolina on a path towards building a model juvenile justice system—a system that reduces crime by rehabilitating youth accused of crimes, keeps youth and juvenile justice staff safe, and more efficiently spends taxpayer money. 

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Enhancing Understanding and Interaction Skills When Working with Child Abuse Victims Who Have Autism

This free two-part webinar provides basic information about children with autism including diagnostic and behavioral aspects, as well as interactional skills. Important language, perception, and sensory aspects is highlighted, as well as communication skills and use of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC), as required by the ADA. This presentation is intended for: Professionals who work with child victims in the investigation and treatment of child abuse. Mental Health Providers, Law Enforcement, Social Services, Forensic Interviewers, Legal Counsel, Medical Personnel, and Victim Advocates are appropriate.

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Examples and Resources to Support Criminal Justice Entities in Compliance with Title II of the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA)

Published by the U.S. Department of Justice (Civil Rights Division), this report provides guidance to law enforcement, courts, prosecutors, public defense attorneys, and corrections agencies regarding ADA compliance when interacting with people with disabilities in the criminal justice system.

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FASD and the Criminal Justice System

Fact sheet developed by SAMHSA’s Center for Excellence on FASD.

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Improving Outcomes for Youth with Disabilities in Juvenile Corrections

This toolkit includes evidence- and research-based practices, tools, and resources that educators, families, facilities, and community agencies can use to better support and improve the long-term outcomes for youth with disabilities in juvenile correctional facilities.

Making a Map

This project develops and implements a comprehensive, evidence-based model to support juvenile offenders with disabilities transitioning from juvenile justice facilities into secondary and postsecondary education, employment, and community programs.

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Making it Work initiative on gender and disability inclusion: Advancing equity for women and girls with disabilities

Making it Work Initiative on Gender and Disability Inclusion (Oct 2015) is the first report of its kind to identify and describe eleven good practices in ten countries which were developed by women to eliminate violence against women and girls with disabilities. Produced by Handicap International in France, this effort brought together a Gender and Disability Global Technical Advisory Committee (TAC), consisting mostly of women with disabilities, to identify programs and activities throughout the world that have enjoyed some success in not only raising awareness about violence against girls and women with disabilities but also preventing it by challenging local and State policies and practices that allow such violence to continue.

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Mathematica Policy Research: Justice

This resource is a website dedicated to Mathematica’s justice policy research. It provides information on diversion and expungement; education; employment; health and well-being; juvenile justice; prevention; recidivism; re-entry; and system reform.

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National Goals in Research, Practice and Policy for and with People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilitiess

In August 2015, a National Goals in Research, Policy, and Practice working meeting was held in Washington, DC to summarize the current state of knowledge and identify a platform of national goals, organized by 10 focus areas, in research, practice, and policy in intellectual and developmental disabilities. The products developed are meant for a variety of audiences with the overarching goal of advancing a research agenda that will influence policy and practice for and with people with intellectual and developmental disabilities over the next 10 years. Download here.

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National Inventory of the Collateral Consequences of Conviction

This inventory is a searchable database of collateral consequence laws in all U.S. Jurisdictions.

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Responding to Crime Victims with Disabilities: A Kentucky Resource Guide

This resource was created for professionals who may encounter individuals with disabilities who are victims of crime, including those who have been sexually assaulted.

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Safe and Sound: Victims with Autism Assistance, Education and Training Program

The Autism Society created a series of fact sheets and brochures to assist crime victim assistance professionals, families, and individuals with autism. Six fact sheets on autism - for police, paramedics, child abuse counselors, domestic violence and sexual assault counselors, attorneys, and social workers are available, along with fact sheets are two brochures designed for individuals with autism who have been the victim of a crime and family members of crime victims with autism.

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SafePlace: Disability Services ASAP (A Safety Awareness Program)

SafePlace provides training and education to increase awareness about and prevent sexual and domestic violence and abuse. Through custom designed presentations and trainings for disability service providers, domestic and sexual violence staff and criminal justice personnel, the program offers technical assistance and consultation to individuals and organizations seeking guidance to reduce the risks of abuse against individuals with disabilities or to enhance accessibility to persons with disabilities. The agency offers useful materials and curricula for criminal justice and disability personnel and staff.

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Safer Options Manual: Developing Best Practices Treatment for People who have Intellectual Disabilities and Offending or Problematic Sexual Behavior

The purpose of this manual is to support the development and implementation of community based treatment programs for people with disabilities who have problematic and/or sex offending behavior. While specific to Pennsylvania, it provide general information on ethics, sexuality, risk assessment, treatment, supervision, treatment teams, as well as training and support for staff. The Safer Options Train-the-Trainer curriculum can assist agencies in developing a process for supporting individuals with very serious, complex and at times dangerous sexual behavior. While no training can eliminate liability, providing effective training like this one can help reduce it significantly. (2010)

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Statistics on Abuse and Neglect of Children with Disabilities

This resource is a collection of reports analyzing the incidence of maltreatment of children with disabilities.

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Temple University’s Institute on Disabilities Criminal Justice / First Responders Project

The Institute provides training and technical assistance regarding criminal justice issues throughout Pennsylvania, as well as a number of helpful products and materials on the issue of people with I/DD in the criminal justice system and on sexuality/safety issues.

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The Quality of Life (QOL) Curriculum: Building Healthy Selves, Forming Healthy Relationships

Created by Michelle Garcia Psy.D., and Brandon Delgado, M.A. and made possible by the Arc of Blair County (PA), this curriculum is designed to teach and strengthen  abilities ranging from practicing appropriate social skills and building relationships to understanding changes during puberty and expressing sexuality. 

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Unlocking Solitary Confinement: Ending Extreme Isolation in Nevada State Prisons

Published by The American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada (ACLUNV), Solitary Watch, and the Nevada Disability Advocacy & Law Center (NDALC), this report exposes the horrors of solitary confinement as told through the perspective of individuals incarcerated in the Nevada Department of Corrections (NDOC). 

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Webinar: Protecting Children with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

MECP and The Arc's National Center on Criminal Justice and Disability® partnered for MECP's July 2014 webinar. NCCJD's Leigh Ann Davis was a guest presenter. This webinar provides an overview of the common types of violence, risk factors for violence and signs of possible victimization among children with disabilities. The presenter provides examples on how to improve responses to effectively serve child victims with disabilities.

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