The information below was current as of 2021.
In 2016, RespectAbility, in consultation with a wide-ranging group of diverse leaders, prepared a detailed report, Disability & Criminal Justice Reform: Keys to Success. The report, which was featured on the PBS Newshour, looks at how youth with disabilities get caught in the school-to-prison pipeline, what happens to people with disabilities behind bars and how people exit the criminal justice system. We offered very specific proposals for progress.
There are many dedicated reformers who are fighting hard at the federal, state and local level to reform our nation’s schools and justice system. However, some have not yet fully realized the deep degree to which the issues they are working on intersect with disability, poverty and discrimination. Based on our review of the available data, we estimate that there are more than 750,000 Americans with disabilities behind bars today.
Download the report in an accessible Word document.
Download the PowerPoint presentation in an accessible PPT.
Watch the video of our panel discussion on Capitol Hill.
Read the transcript of our panel discussion.
Leaders in the disability community and leaders in the criminal justice reform movement have much to learn from each and have great opportunities to collaborate. Below is a short list of resources, reports and organizations that touch on the critical intersection of ableism, racism and economic inequality in criminal justice.
Safety and Criminal Justice Webinars:
- Sexual Violence and People with Disabilities – Lessons on Prevention, Protection and Survival from RAINN
- Special Conversation with Special Olympics about Violence, Police Training and People with Disabilities
- Disability and Criminal Justice Reform – Key to Success and Challenges Ahead
- Department of Justice (DOJ)
- Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS)
- Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP)
- National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
- CSG Justice Center – Collaborative Approaches to Public Safety
Advocacy and Research Resources:
- Prison Policy Initiative
- The Coalition for Public Safety
- American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
- Vera Institute of Justice
- John Jay College of Criminal Justice
- The Arc – National Center on Criminal Justice & Disability (NCCJD)
- Helping Educate to Advance the Rights of the Deaf (HEARD)
- National Disability Rights Network (NDRN)
- Center for American Progress (CAP)
- American Enterprise Institute (AEI)
- Charles Koch Institute
- Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund (DREDF)
- Rooted in Rights
- Equal Justice Initiative
DC/Maryland Specific Resources:
Do you know other nonprofit organizations that should be included as a resource?
Contact our Communications Associate, Eric Ascher, at [email protected].
More Resources You Can Use
- African Americans
- Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders
- Communications, Marketing, and Advertising
- Entertainment Professionals
- Equity and Inclusion
- Faith Inclusion
- Hispanic and Latinx
- Inclusive Philanthropy
- Job Seekers
- Policy Makers
- Sex Education
- Spinal Cord Injuries