If you want an update on how the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) impacts disabled offenders then this webinar is a must view. "While there is still a significant gap regarding our knowledge about people with disabilities and Deaf people involved in the justice system, we do know there is a great need to increase access to justice for these people. People with disabilities and Deaf people experience violent victimization at rates three times higher than people without disabilities, making them one of the groups at highest risk of harm in the country. Despite these high rates of victimization, they continue to experience significant barriers to services and the justice system. These barriers not only exist for victims of violent crime but for people with disabilities and Deaf people who are incarcerated. Research reflects that 36 percent of state and 24 percent of federally incarcerated adults report having at least one disability. These individuals experience accessibility barriers from the time of arrest and through incarceration" (Vera website). "With America in the midst of substantial criminal justice reform and celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), this summit will bring these two issues together. Leaders from both the disability and criminal justice fields will explore the impact the ADA has had on people with disabilities with disabilities who have had involvement with the justice system, either as victims or suspects/offenders. Panelists will also share their visions for justice for people with disabilities for the next 25" (YouTube website). This website provides links to presentations by Senator Harkin and the five panelists. It also has a link to a Fact Sheet (from July 2015) that covers the impact of ADA in disabled offenders. This document has sections about: what we know about justice-involved people with disabilities and deaf people—suspects and offenders, and victims and survivors; the ADA's impact on justice-involved people with disabilities and deaf people—victim service organizations, law enforcement agencies, the courts, and prisons and jails; opportunities at the intersection of access and justice involvement; and additional information about the ADA's five titles, the ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA) of 2008, and Olmstead V L.C. 527 U.S. 581 of 1999.
The Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) sets standards to ensure that information about PREA and victim services are accessible to people with disabilities. The purpose of this guide is to provide strategies to correctional agencies that will aid their compliance with these PREA requirements. The strategies discussed in this guide draw on established practices used by victim service organizations—both community-based and those based in government agencies—to make their services more accessible for this population. By offering concrete recommendations on how to adapt these community practices to correctional settings, this guide aims to help adult and juvenile correctional facilities increase accessibility for people with disabilities. While it is not a focus of this guide, an important component to making PREA and victim services accessible for people with disabilities is to institutionalize any new practices or partnerships in facility policy" (p. 2). Sections comprising this guide are: purpose; defining disability; sexual abuse and incarcerated people with disabilities—applicable PREA standards, and legal compliance; strategies for making PREA information and victim services accessible—increase access for the broadest range of users, increase capacity for individualized accessibility solutions, ensure access to reporting, and ensure access to victim services; staff training and resources; and conclusion.