People with disabilities are too often overlooked or forgotten when they get involved in the criminal justice system, as victims or as suspects/defendants.
They often face fear, prejudice, and a lack of understanding or resources when they do become entangled in the system. Justice professionals may lack experience and accurate knowledge about I/DD, leading to misidentification of disability, a heightened risk of false confessions, inaccurate assumptions about competency and credibility, inappropriate placement in institutions, and the unknowing waivers of rights.
Individuals with disabilities are valuable, and they have the right to access justice. They should not experience discrimination or mistreatment in any justice system. They should also have meaningful access to criminal justice services and programs. People with disabilities should be treated with respect and dignity, regardless of criminal justice involvement or any other status or identity.