Criminal Justice Legislative Agenda for the 112th Congress (2011-2012)

Statistics clearly indicate that more and more individuals with disabilities are ending up in penal institutions and juvenile justice facilities.  Many end up in such placements due to the lack of other alternate treatment programs.  Such individuals are frequently the victims of abuse and neglect.  Too little is being done to protect these individuals and prevent systemic mistreatment.

The 112th Congress should:

  • Expand the authority and the funding for the Department of Justice to carry out criminal justice initiatives and activities that affect individuals with disabilities, including those unique to individuals with intellectual disabilities, cerebral palsy, and other related disabilities in the following areas:
    • Training of all personnel in the criminal justice system about issues unique to our constituents, including identification of a disability;
    • Providing for research to assist the Attorney General in collecting valid, reliable national data relating to crimes against individuals with developmental and related disabilities for the National Crime Victims Survey conducted by the Dept. of Justice;
    • Developing and disseminating models of best practices;
    • Providing appropriate crime victim assistance to people with disabilities;
    • Preventing discrimination by the criminal justice system against victims, witnesses, and those accused of crimes on the basis of disability;
    • Ensuring appropriate treatment of prisoners with intellectual and developmental disabilities or psychiatric diagnoses, and ensuring that penal and juvenile justice facilities are not used as “dumping grounds” for such individuals;
    • Ensuring that appropriate medical interventions, including pharmaceuticals, are available to individuals with disabilities, particularly those with behavioral disabilities, to ensure that they are not inappropriately relegated to the criminal justice system;
    • Prosecuting individuals that commit, and entities that are party to, physical, psychological, or sexual abuse, mistreatment, or neglect of children or adults with disabilities; and
    • Ensuring inexpensive and timely access by families, providers, and states to federal criminal background checks for anyone employed in the disability service system.

Legislative Agenda Partners

We are national organizations that serve and advocate for people with intellectual, developmental, and other disabilities. We work together to shape, expand, and protect a strong federal role that provides vital benefits, services and supports and assures civil rights for our constituency.