Self-Advocates (People with Disabilities) and their families

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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Be Safe (Video and Curriculum for People with autism and related disabilities)

BE SAFE The Movie and BE SAFE Teaching Edition(2014) are exciting new teaching tools that include actors with autism and related disabilities showing effective ways to interact with real police officers, modeling safe words and actions. Lessons in the Companion Curriculum offer materials to reach a wide range of learners. 7 key reminders are taught, including keeping your hands to yourself when meeting police and how to call 911 for help.

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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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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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Curriculum on Abuse Prevention and Empowerment (CAPE)

World Institute on Disability created a comprehensive training curriculum in English and Spanish to educate people with disabilities, services providers, and family members about abuse awareness and prevention strategies. CAPE (Curriculum on Abuse Prevention and Empowerment) explores fundamental issues of abuse, best-practices training approaches, and personal stories of resisting and recovering from abuse. CAPE focuses particularly on preventing abuse by anyone in a “helping role,” including informal or paid assistants, family members, and services providers.

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Developing Positive Interactions for People with Developmental Disabilities and First Responders, Police, and the Justice System: A Guide for People with Developmental Disabilities and Their Loved Ones

This guide provides free, actionable information for those with developmental disabilities and their families. Topics covered include sex offender issues, special education, hiring an attorney, guardianship and alternatives; housing and other core support services.

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Disability Independence Group, Inc. 

Provides wallet cards for individuals with autism or intellectual disability to help them disclose their disability when interacting with a police officer. 

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Domestic Violence Services Program for People with Disabilities

The Domestic Violence Services Program in Chicago, IL is a free, confidential service that provides support, information and access to resources for people with disabilities who experience domestic violence.

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Finding the Path to Equal Justice

Finding the Path to Equal Justice: A Handbook for Defendants with Mental Retardation* and Their Families (2005): This guidebook was developed and reviewed by experts in the field, and provides tips and clear understanding for people with I/DD and their families about what to do when and if they come in contact with the criminal justice system. (*NOTE: While mental retardation was used in the title of this older publication, it is no longer used to describe the condition. The preferred term is intellectual and/or developmental disability or I/DD).

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Illinois Imagines

Illinois Imagines is a statewide project to improve services to women with disabilities who have been victims of sexual violence. The project is directed by the Illinois Department of Human Services, Illinois rape crisis centers, disability service agencies and self-advocates. Collaborative teams have been established in 30 communities across the state.

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Interacting with Law Enforcement: A Guide for Persons with Disabilities

This document offers suggestions for persons with disabilities when they interact with law enforcement personnel and provides information about how to report any mistreatment (created by Disability Rights North Carolina, Champions for Equality and Justice).

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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 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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O.P.E.N. Court Video Series and Resource Guide

The “O.P.E.N. Court – Orienting Young People with Exceptional Needs about Court” website provides videos for youth with disabilities and a resource guide for school personnel, families, attorneys, juvenile court personnel, and social-service professionals to engage in best practices to help young people gain the skills to navigate the process. A series of videos follow Henry, a young man with autism, who finds himself navigating the juvenile justice system. The materials are designed to help address challenges often faced by young people with intellectual or developmental disabilities who become involved in court.

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Pacer’s National Bullying Prevention Center

Founded in 2006, PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center unites, engages and educates communities nationwide in the U.S. to address bullying through creative, relevant and interactive resources. PACER’s bullying prevention resources are designed to benefit all students, including students with disabilities.

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People who have an Intellectual Disability and the Criminal Justice System

This report serves as a guide for police, lawyers, advocates, courts, judges, magistrates, and correctional officers to better understand people who have an intellectual disability as well as to recognize their rights and the disadvantages they experience in the criminal justice system.

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Restraint and Seclusion: Hear Our Stories (working title)

Restraint and Seclusion: Hear Our Stories (working title) is a new film by Dan Habib, Filmmaker at the Institute on Disability at the University of New Hampshire. In the film, Jino Medina, Brianna Hammon, Helena Stephenson and Peyton Goddard describe the restraint and seclusion they experienced while students in public schools, and the devastating physical and emotional injuries they suffered as a result. And Carolyn Medina and Wil Beaudoin describe how the restraint and seclusion their children endured had an impact on them as parents.

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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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Teaching Anger Management to People with Special Needs (AMT) and Standing Tall  

This resource provides information on two Justice for All programs: Teaching Anger Management to People with Special Needs (AMT) and Standing Tall. AMT is a training program designed to teach methods of controlling anger as well as socially acceptable ways to express anger.  Standing Tall is a peer group that provides a safe environment for individuals with I/DD who have been incarcerated to explore the issues they are experiencing while re-entering the community. This group also provides an opportunity for the participants to build the skills they need to advocate for themselves. 

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The Rules of Sex: For Those Who Have Never Been Told

This resource was written with and for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities who have never had a concrete description of "the rules of sex," and may or may not have already “gotten in trouble” just for lack of information. Written for young adults and available in both English and Spanish.

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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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"Scream Rooms"

Scream Rooms: An investigation of the existence of seclusion rooms in the Washoe County School District.

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Sexuality Education for Adults with DD

This curriculum by Planned Parenthood is the first of its kind in the country, designed for self-advocates and staff to teach a sexuality education series together as a team.

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Social Development and Sexuality Consultation Services

On this website, Leslie Walker-Hirsch makes available a newsletter with information on social development, sexuality, and intellectual disability. The newsletter includes questions about difficult sexual scenarios and advice on helping people with I/DD navigate such scenarios. The newsletter also includes links to other helpful resources related to sexual health and intellectual disability.

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Stop the Violence, Break the Silence Training Guide & Resource Kit

This curriculum provides comprehensive information, handouts and activities for workshops or presentations about abuse against people with disabilities, increasing access to domestic and sexual violence services and promoting collaborations between disability service providers and domestic violence and rape crisis centers. The content is designed for a variety of audiences, including domestic violence and sexual assault agencies, disability service providers and people with disabilities.

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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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