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Resolution on Human Rights of Individuals with Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities in the Criminal Justice System

December 1, 2020


In support of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, we are gravely concerned that individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) are overrepresented in interactions with the justice system and face dangerous conditions once incarcerated.

I/DD, which include autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and intellectual disability (ID), are conditions characterized by cognitive, behavioral, physical, or language delays/difficulties. Individuals with I/DD are overrepresented in interactions with the justice system for reasons such as the devolution of responsibility from mental health and disability care systems to police, manipulation by others leading to involvement in illegal activity, or misunderstandings with law enforcement that can lead to arrests and, at times, wrongful confessions.

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