Disability Advocates

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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Amplifying Voices of Inmates with Disabilities Prison Project (AVID Prison Project)

This website is a conglomeration of blogs written by inmates with disabilities.

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The Arc’s Justice Advocacy Guide

Chapters of The Arc play a key role in helping victims and suspects obtain justice in a system where disability isn’t regularly identified or understood. The goal of this guide is to provide chapters with ideas on what can be done when involvement with the criminal justice system occurs, whether the person with a disability is a victim, witness or suspect. It provides detailed information for chapter staff and others in the disability field with the knowledge and understanding needed to be effective advocates.

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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 Advocacy Program (CJAP)

CJAP advocates on behalf of New Jerseyans with I/DD who become involved in the criminal justice system. The Program seeks to bridge the gap between the systems and ensure full access to the criminal justice system for people with I/DD.

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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. (2009)

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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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Deviancy, Disability, and Dependency: The Forgotten History of Eugenics and Mass Incarceration

This Duke Law Journal article discusses the history of institutionalizing people with disabilities in the context of eugenics and mass incarceration.

Key words:
 Disability History, Mass Incarceration, Eugenics

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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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FASD Justice Initiative

This project provides information and  resources regarding fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) and the criminal justice system, including fact sheets, webinars, and publications.    

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National Autism Association’s Big Red Safety Toolkit 

Wandering, elopement, “running” or fleeing behaviors among those within the autistic community not only present safety risks, but also create worry and stress among caregivers. The Big Red Safety Toolkit is designed to help disability advocates and family members prepare for and prevent wandering of autistic individuals, particularly children. It includes safety tips, checklists, a caregiver log, a family wandering emergency plan, and other resources to ensure the safety and security of all.  

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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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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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How Do People in High-Crime, Low-Income Communities View the Police?

Published by Urban Institute, this report presents the experiences, views, and attitudes of community members who are often underrepresented in research regarding perceptions of law enforcement.

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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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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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Not on the Radar: Sexual Assault of College Students with Disabilities

This report from the National Council on Disability explores the ways in which universities and colleges fail to recognize, protect, and support students with disabilities who have been sexually assaulted. The publication concludes by offering policy and practice recommendations.

Keywords:  College/University; Students; Sexual Assault

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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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Protect, Report, Preserve: Abuse Against Persons with Disabilities

From Building Partnerships Initiative, this video and training manual assists providers in fulfilling their legal obligation to train their employees to recognize and report abuse against persons with disabilities. This 25-minute training video was produced for staff providing services to persons with disabilities and provide a better understanding of the mandated reporter law as well as how and where to report suspected abuse of persons with disabilities. The Massachusetts State Police, through their training academy, provide a forty-hour sexual assault certification course and a forty-hour basic investigation certification course to APS investigators from the Disabled Persons Protection Commission (DPPC), Department of Mental Retardation (DMR), Department of Mental Health (DMH) and Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC) charged with conducting investigations of allegations of abuse committed against persons with disabilities.

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The Center for Excellence in Supported Decision Making – Protective Services

The Center for Excellence in Supported Decision Making – Protective Services offers telephone consultation, information and assistance, referrals, and multi-dimensional assessments for persons who are at risk for guardianship/conservatorship. 

Key words: Guardianship, Conservatorship; Supported Decision Making

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The State of Justice Reform in 2017: Disability

This interactive report by the Vera Institute of Justice highlights the most significant developments in criminal justice reform and legal protections in 2017 for the disability community. It includes statistics pertaining to crime, race, and psychiatric disabilities.
Keywords: Vera Institute of Justice; Statistics; Justice Reform

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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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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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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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Sexual Offenses Against Persons with I/DD

The Arc of New Jersey’s white paper Addressing Sexual Violence Against People with I/DD: Blueprint for an Empowered Future provides possible solutions New Jersey can employ to prevent sexual violence of this specific population. The white paper is the result of a 2018 Leadership Summit that brought together stakeholders throughout New Jersey committed to ending sexual violence of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and includes findings The Arc of New Jersey will use as a blueprint for enacting change. This resource is helpful for other states looking to enact similar statewide reform on this topic.

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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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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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Under Arrest—Understanding the Criminal Justice Process in Pennsylvania

A DVD and companion informational guide produced by the Institute on Disabilities at Temple University in Philadelphia that educates the general public about the criminal justice system in Pennsylvania. It's a step-by-step review of the process—from the arrest, through the preliminary arraignment, preliminary hearing, arraignment, trial, sentencing and possible incarceration. The 30-minute DVD illustrates the criminal justice system from the perspective of law enforcement, judiciary and corrections.

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). 

Women Enabled International - Violence

This organization works at the intersection of women's rights and disability rights to advance the rights of women and girls with disabilities around the world, especially in regards to violence.