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Partners In Justice Training for Law Enforcement Officers on People with Intellectual Disabilities This project is supported by The Arc of North Carolina.

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Presentation on theme: "Partners In Justice Training for Law Enforcement Officers on People with Intellectual Disabilities This project is supported by The Arc of North Carolina."— Presentation transcript:

1 Partners In Justice Training for Law Enforcement Officers on People with Intellectual Disabilities This project is supported by The Arc of North Carolina and the NC Council on Developmental Disabilities and the funds it receives through P.L , the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act of 2000.

2 Who are we talking about? Partners in Justice focuses on individuals with intellectual disabilities. Partners in Justice focuses on individuals with intellectual disabilities. Intellectual disabilities include mental retardation, acquired brain injuries (stroke), traumatic brain injuries, and Autism. Intellectual disabilities include mental retardation, acquired brain injuries (stroke), traumatic brain injuries, and Autism. Partners in Justice focuses on individuals with intellectual disabilities. Partners in Justice focuses on individuals with intellectual disabilities. Intellectual disabilities include mental retardation, acquired brain injuries (stroke), traumatic brain injuries, and Autism. Intellectual disabilities include mental retardation, acquired brain injuries (stroke), traumatic brain injuries, and Autism.

3 Challenges Faced by Police Daily, our criminal justice system addresses the challenge of balancing individual rights and public safety. Daily, our criminal justice system addresses the challenge of balancing individual rights and public safety. Faced with difficult decisions on short notice, law enforcement officers rely on tried and tested protocols, their own common sense, and a system of beliefs about human nature and behavior. Faced with difficult decisions on short notice, law enforcement officers rely on tried and tested protocols, their own common sense, and a system of beliefs about human nature and behavior. Daily, our criminal justice system addresses the challenge of balancing individual rights and public safety. Daily, our criminal justice system addresses the challenge of balancing individual rights and public safety. Faced with difficult decisions on short notice, law enforcement officers rely on tried and tested protocols, their own common sense, and a system of beliefs about human nature and behavior. Faced with difficult decisions on short notice, law enforcement officers rely on tried and tested protocols, their own common sense, and a system of beliefs about human nature and behavior.

4 Challenges continued When people with intellectual disabilities such as mental retardation and autism interact with law enforcement, elements of their disabilities brush against these protocols and beliefs and may result in serious misunderstanding – or even tragedy. When people with intellectual disabilities such as mental retardation and autism interact with law enforcement, elements of their disabilities brush against these protocols and beliefs and may result in serious misunderstanding – or even tragedy. The goals of public safety and fairness can both be compromised. The goals of public safety and fairness can both be compromised. When people with intellectual disabilities such as mental retardation and autism interact with law enforcement, elements of their disabilities brush against these protocols and beliefs and may result in serious misunderstanding – or even tragedy. When people with intellectual disabilities such as mental retardation and autism interact with law enforcement, elements of their disabilities brush against these protocols and beliefs and may result in serious misunderstanding – or even tragedy. The goals of public safety and fairness can both be compromised. The goals of public safety and fairness can both be compromised.

5 Why this training? The goal of this training is to improve communication between criminal justice professionals and people with intellectual disabilities whether they encounter the system as victims, witnesses, or alleged perpetrators. The goal of this training is to improve communication between criminal justice professionals and people with intellectual disabilities whether they encounter the system as victims, witnesses, or alleged perpetrators. Law enforcement professionals and society can benefit from this information. Law enforcement professionals and society can benefit from this information. The goal of this training is to improve communication between criminal justice professionals and people with intellectual disabilities whether they encounter the system as victims, witnesses, or alleged perpetrators. The goal of this training is to improve communication between criminal justice professionals and people with intellectual disabilities whether they encounter the system as victims, witnesses, or alleged perpetrators. Law enforcement professionals and society can benefit from this information. Law enforcement professionals and society can benefit from this information.

6 Scope of the Problem How many people with mental retardation are in the criminal justice system? How many people with mental retardation are in the criminal justice system?  1990 Census estimates million people in the US have mental retardation. Studies suggest between 2 and 10 percent of the prison population has mental retardation. How many people with mental retardation are in the criminal justice system? How many people with mental retardation are in the criminal justice system?  1990 Census estimates million people in the US have mental retardation. Studies suggest between 2 and 10 percent of the prison population has mental retardation.

7 Do people with mental retardation commit crimes more often than people without this disability? Do people with mental retardation commit crimes more often than people without this disability? - Studies since 1950 suggest there is no significant link between mental retardation and criminal behavior. Do people with mental retardation commit crimes more often than people without this disability? Do people with mental retardation commit crimes more often than people without this disability? - Studies since 1950 suggest there is no significant link between mental retardation and criminal behavior. Scope of the Problem

8 What disadvantages do people with mental retardation face in the criminal justice system? What disadvantages do people with mental retardation face in the criminal justice system?They: 1) do not want their disability to be recognized so they try to hide it. 2) may not understand their rights, but they will pretend they do. 3) may not understand commands. 4) may be overwhelmed by police presence. What disadvantages do people with mental retardation face in the criminal justice system? What disadvantages do people with mental retardation face in the criminal justice system?They: 1) do not want their disability to be recognized so they try to hide it. 2) may not understand their rights, but they will pretend they do. 3) may not understand commands. 4) may be overwhelmed by police presence. Scope of the Problem

9 May say what they think the officer wants to hear. May say what they think the officer wants to hear. May not understand why they are being detained and try to run away; or become upset and combative. May not understand why they are being detained and try to run away; or become upset and combative. May have difficulty describing details, actions or facts. May have difficulty describing details, actions or facts. Are often the last one to leave the scene of the crime and the first one to be caught. Are often the last one to leave the scene of the crime and the first one to be caught. May be confused about their part in the crime and confess even though innocent. May be confused about their part in the crime and confess even though innocent. May say what they think the officer wants to hear. May say what they think the officer wants to hear. May not understand why they are being detained and try to run away; or become upset and combative. May not understand why they are being detained and try to run away; or become upset and combative. May have difficulty describing details, actions or facts. May have difficulty describing details, actions or facts. Are often the last one to leave the scene of the crime and the first one to be caught. Are often the last one to leave the scene of the crime and the first one to be caught. May be confused about their part in the crime and confess even though innocent. May be confused about their part in the crime and confess even though innocent. Disadvantages (Continued)

10 People with mental retardation are more likely to be arrested, convicted, sentenced to prison, and victimized in prison. (Santamour, 1986) People with mental retardation are more likely to be arrested, convicted, sentenced to prison, and victimized in prison. (Santamour, 1986) Once in the criminal justice system, these individuals tend to serve longer sentences due to an inability to understand or adapt to prison rules. Once in the criminal justice system, these individuals tend to serve longer sentences due to an inability to understand or adapt to prison rules. People with mental retardation are more likely to be arrested, convicted, sentenced to prison, and victimized in prison. (Santamour, 1986) People with mental retardation are more likely to be arrested, convicted, sentenced to prison, and victimized in prison. (Santamour, 1986) Once in the criminal justice system, these individuals tend to serve longer sentences due to an inability to understand or adapt to prison rules. Once in the criminal justice system, these individuals tend to serve longer sentences due to an inability to understand or adapt to prison rules. Scope of the Problem

11 Do people with mental retardation become victims of crime more often than those without a disability? Do people with mental retardation become victims of crime more often than those without a disability?  Research finds that people with disabilities are at least twice as likely as others to be victimized. Do people with mental retardation become victims of crime more often than those without a disability? Do people with mental retardation become victims of crime more often than those without a disability?  Research finds that people with disabilities are at least twice as likely as others to be victimized. Scope of the Problem

12 Victims with disabilities may not report crimes against themselves because they are dependent on the abuser as a caregiver. Victims with disabilities may not report crimes against themselves because they are dependent on the abuser as a caregiver. Law enforcement officers and court officials may not see a person with a disability as a reliable witness and may be reluctant to investigate and prosecute. Law enforcement officers and court officials may not see a person with a disability as a reliable witness and may be reluctant to investigate and prosecute. Victims with disabilities may not report crimes against themselves because they are dependent on the abuser as a caregiver. Victims with disabilities may not report crimes against themselves because they are dependent on the abuser as a caregiver. Law enforcement officers and court officials may not see a person with a disability as a reliable witness and may be reluctant to investigate and prosecute. Law enforcement officers and court officials may not see a person with a disability as a reliable witness and may be reluctant to investigate and prosecute. Scope of the Problem

13 Why is this important? Approximately 1-3% of the general population has mental retardation, but it is much more prevalent among individuals who come into contact with law enforcement. Approximately 1-3% of the general population has mental retardation, but it is much more prevalent among individuals who come into contact with law enforcement. If a law enforcement officer does not identify a person’s disability during an investigation, it may affect the outcome of the case and/or damage his/her career. If a law enforcement officer does not identify a person’s disability during an investigation, it may affect the outcome of the case and/or damage his/her career. Approximately 1-3% of the general population has mental retardation, but it is much more prevalent among individuals who come into contact with law enforcement. Approximately 1-3% of the general population has mental retardation, but it is much more prevalent among individuals who come into contact with law enforcement. If a law enforcement officer does not identify a person’s disability during an investigation, it may affect the outcome of the case and/or damage his/her career. If a law enforcement officer does not identify a person’s disability during an investigation, it may affect the outcome of the case and/or damage his/her career.

14 The Americans with Disabilities Act requires that police provide “reasonable accommodations” to people with intellectual disabilities. The Americans with Disabilities Act requires that police provide “reasonable accommodations” to people with intellectual disabilities. If a law enforcement officer does not recognize and accommodate a person’s disability, miscommunication could lead to a violent confrontation. If a law enforcement officer does not recognize and accommodate a person’s disability, miscommunication could lead to a violent confrontation. Having this information will help the officer work smarter, not harder! Having this information will help the officer work smarter, not harder! The Americans with Disabilities Act requires that police provide “reasonable accommodations” to people with intellectual disabilities. The Americans with Disabilities Act requires that police provide “reasonable accommodations” to people with intellectual disabilities. If a law enforcement officer does not recognize and accommodate a person’s disability, miscommunication could lead to a violent confrontation. If a law enforcement officer does not recognize and accommodate a person’s disability, miscommunication could lead to a violent confrontation. Having this information will help the officer work smarter, not harder! Having this information will help the officer work smarter, not harder! Why is this important?

15 Mental Retardation vs. Mental Illness Mental Retardation results in abnormal thought processing – not abnormal thought. Mental Retardation results in abnormal thought processing – not abnormal thought. The traits or characteristics often seen in persons with mental retardation are not like symptoms seen in persons with mental illness. The traits or characteristics often seen in persons with mental retardation are not like symptoms seen in persons with mental illness. Mental Retardation results in abnormal thought processing – not abnormal thought. Mental Retardation results in abnormal thought processing – not abnormal thought. The traits or characteristics often seen in persons with mental retardation are not like symptoms seen in persons with mental illness. The traits or characteristics often seen in persons with mental retardation are not like symptoms seen in persons with mental illness.

16 What’s the difference? Mental Retardation A permanent condition Mental Retardation A permanent condition Mental Illness A disease/sickness which may be temporary, last years, or cycle

17 Mental Retardation Low IQ Before age 18 Responds to training/education Mental Retardation Low IQ Before age 18 Responds to training/education Mental Illness Low OR High IQ Occurs at any age Responds to therapy/treatment What’s the difference?

18 What are some traits I might see? May not communicate at age level: May not communicate at age level:  Limited vocabulary  Difficulty understanding/answering questions  Mimics answers/responses  Unable to communicate events clearly in his/her own words  Unable to understand complicated instructions or abstract concepts May not communicate at age level: May not communicate at age level:  Limited vocabulary  Difficulty understanding/answering questions  Mimics answers/responses  Unable to communicate events clearly in his/her own words  Unable to understand complicated instructions or abstract concepts

19 May not understand consequences of situations May not understand consequences of situations  Unaware of seriousness of situations  Easily led or persuaded by others  Naïve eagerness to confess or please authority figures May not understand consequences of situations May not understand consequences of situations  Unaware of seriousness of situations  Easily led or persuaded by others  Naïve eagerness to confess or please authority figures Traits (continued)

20 May not behave appropriately: May not behave appropriately:  Unaware of social norms and appropriate social behavior  Acts younger than actual age, may display childlike behavior  Displays low frustration tolerance and/or poor impulse control  May “act out”, become emotional, or try to leave if under pressure May not behave appropriately: May not behave appropriately:  Unaware of social norms and appropriate social behavior  Acts younger than actual age, may display childlike behavior  Displays low frustration tolerance and/or poor impulse control  May “act out”, become emotional, or try to leave if under pressure Traits (continued)

21 May have difficulty performing tasks May have difficulty performing tasks  Inability to read or write  Inability to tell time  Difficulty staying focused and easily distracted  Awkward/poor motor coordination May have difficulty performing tasks May have difficulty performing tasks  Inability to read or write  Inability to tell time  Difficulty staying focused and easily distracted  Awkward/poor motor coordination Traits (continued)

22 What are some common reactions one might expect to see when a person with an intellectual disability is under stress?

23 Difficulty recalling facts/details Difficulty recalling facts/details Impulsive actions (try to run, fight, etc.) Impulsive actions (try to run, fight, etc.) Over-willing to confess Over-willing to confess Hides disability Hides disability Says what others want to hear Says what others want to hear Frustration Frustration Common Stress Related Reactions

24 How to Recognize a Person with Autism Spectrum Disorder  May not make eye contact. Don't misinterpret limited eye contact as deceit.  May not talk (nonverbal).  May not talk (nonverbal).  May communicate with sign language, picture cards or gestures.  May not make eye contact. Don't misinterpret limited eye contact as deceit.  May not talk (nonverbal).  May not talk (nonverbal).  May communicate with sign language, picture cards or gestures.

25 Autism Spectrum Disorder continued  May have trouble understanding what YOU say. Give direct, short instructions such as “Stand up now”, not literal expressions such as “Spread eagle.”  May have a delayed response to your question.  May have trouble understanding what YOU say. Give direct, short instructions such as “Stand up now”, not literal expressions such as “Spread eagle.”  May have a delayed response to your question. Autism Spectrum Disorder Continued

26  May not read your facial expression or body language.  May invade your personal space unknowingly. Avoid touching person unless necessary to keep person from injuring himself/herself or you.  If restraint is required, don’t place on stomach or hold from behind with their arms crossed in front of them because underdeveloped chest muscles may cause breathing difficulties. Autism Spectrum Disorder Continued

27 Many persons with Autism have seizures. Many persons with Autism have seizures. Many persons with Autism Spectrum Disorders show odd behaviors such as flapping hands or pacing. Don’t try to stop these behaviors which may be the person’s way of calming him/her self. Many persons with Autism Spectrum Disorders show odd behaviors such as flapping hands or pacing. Don’t try to stop these behaviors which may be the person’s way of calming him/her self. Many persons with Autism have seizures. Many persons with Autism have seizures. Many persons with Autism Spectrum Disorders show odd behaviors such as flapping hands or pacing. Don’t try to stop these behaviors which may be the person’s way of calming him/her self. Many persons with Autism Spectrum Disorders show odd behaviors such as flapping hands or pacing. Don’t try to stop these behaviors which may be the person’s way of calming him/her self.

28 UNDERSTANDING BRAIN INJURY Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) is NOT caused by congenital or degenerative disorders nor birth trauma, but by external forces or internal events that impair physical, neurological, psychological, intellectual, emotional, and behavioral functioning. Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is a subset of Acquired Brain Injury referring only to injuries caused by external blunt force trauma. Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) is NOT caused by congenital or degenerative disorders nor birth trauma, but by external forces or internal events that impair physical, neurological, psychological, intellectual, emotional, and behavioral functioning. Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is a subset of Acquired Brain Injury referring only to injuries caused by external blunt force trauma.

29 UNDERSTANDING BRAIN INJURY Examples of blunt trauma include falls, being struck by a heavy object, etc. Penetrating trauma includes gunshot or knife wounds to the head. Acceleration/deceleration forces includes Shaken Baby Syndrome and damage to the brain inside the skull during sudden impact events such as car crashes. Consequences vary according to the severity and location in the brain of the injury, but may include: memory loss, difficulty processing information, anxiety or depression, fatigue, sensory impairments, loss of physical function, disturbance in behavioral functioning, etc. Examples of blunt trauma include falls, being struck by a heavy object, etc. Penetrating trauma includes gunshot or knife wounds to the head. Acceleration/deceleration forces includes Shaken Baby Syndrome and damage to the brain inside the skull during sudden impact events such as car crashes. Consequences vary according to the severity and location in the brain of the injury, but may include: memory loss, difficulty processing information, anxiety or depression, fatigue, sensory impairments, loss of physical function, disturbance in behavioral functioning, etc.

30 Changes following a brain injury can affect how the person experiences life, interprets events and responds behaviorally. If the person:  has trouble processing or remembering information, he may not follow instructions and may be perceived as belligerent or unmotivated.  experiences headaches and fatigue, his level of frustration tolerance may be low causing him to act out in anger. Understanding Brain Injury Continued

31 If the person  has difficulty perceiving how his behavior affects others, important relationships can become strained.  has difficulty with impulsivity, he may do or say things that are not always socially appropriate (e.g. sexual acting out).  experiences emotional volatility, he may have outbursts of anger, aggression, or crying. If the person  has difficulty perceiving how his behavior affects others, important relationships can become strained.  has difficulty with impulsivity, he may do or say things that are not always socially appropriate (e.g. sexual acting out).  experiences emotional volatility, he may have outbursts of anger, aggression, or crying.

32 Helpful Hints Communication Is The KEY!

33 Speak directly to the person. Make eye contact before you speak and say his/her name often. Speak directly to the person. Make eye contact before you speak and say his/her name often. Keep sentences short. Keep sentences short. Use simple language. Speak slowly and clearly. Use simple language. Speak slowly and clearly. Break complicated instructions or information into smaller parts. Break complicated instructions or information into smaller parts. Speak directly to the person. Make eye contact before you speak and say his/her name often. Speak directly to the person. Make eye contact before you speak and say his/her name often. Keep sentences short. Keep sentences short. Use simple language. Speak slowly and clearly. Use simple language. Speak slowly and clearly. Break complicated instructions or information into smaller parts. Break complicated instructions or information into smaller parts. Communication Tips

34 Be patient and take time giving or asking for information. Be patient and take time giving or asking for information. Treat adults as adults regardless of their disability. Treat adults as adults regardless of their disability. If you are unsure if the person really understands what you are saying, ask him/her to repeat it in his/her own words. If you are unsure if the person really understands what you are saying, ask him/her to repeat it in his/her own words. If the person does not seem to understand what you are asking, ask the question in another way. If the person does not seem to understand what you are asking, ask the question in another way. Be patient and take time giving or asking for information. Be patient and take time giving or asking for information. Treat adults as adults regardless of their disability. Treat adults as adults regardless of their disability. If you are unsure if the person really understands what you are saying, ask him/her to repeat it in his/her own words. If you are unsure if the person really understands what you are saying, ask him/her to repeat it in his/her own words. If the person does not seem to understand what you are asking, ask the question in another way. If the person does not seem to understand what you are asking, ask the question in another way. Communication Tips (continued)

35 IN CONCLUSION…

36 Remember, you are not expected to be an expert on intellectual disabilities. There are experts who can help you when you have questions: Remember, you are not expected to be an expert on intellectual disabilities. There are experts who can help you when you have questions:  The Arc of North Carolina (and local chapters)  The local mental health agencies  The State Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Services, Justice Innovations Team  Governor’s Advocacy Council for Persons with Disabilities In Conclusion

37 AcknowledgementsAcknowledgements This presentation was developed especially for North Carolina by Partners in Justice, a statewide collaborative effort designed to assist individuals with cognitive disabilities who are at risk of becoming involved in the criminal justice system. The North Carolina Council on Developmental Disabilities provided grant funding to The Arc of North Carolina to support the project. Many different, excellent training materials were researched and adapted with special consideration for the specific needs of the citizens of North Carolina. Special thanks goes to the members of the PIJ Advisory Committee; George R. “Pete” Clary III, Public Defender, Judicial District 21; Ms. Jeri Houchins, Project Coordinator, Justice Now! Of the People, By the People, and For the People; and, Ms. Diane Nelson Bryen and Ms. Beverly Frantz, National Academy for Equal Justice, for People with Developmental Disabilities, Institute on Disabilities at Temple University. Partners in Justice dedicates this presentation to the memory of Deborah Greenblatt, Esq., a tireless advocate for people with disabilities and charter member of the Partners in people with disabilities and charter member of the Partners in Justice Advisory Committee. Justice Advisory Committee. This presentation was developed especially for North Carolina by Partners in Justice, a statewide collaborative effort designed to assist individuals with cognitive disabilities who are at risk of becoming involved in the criminal justice system. The North Carolina Council on Developmental Disabilities provided grant funding to The Arc of North Carolina to support the project. Many different, excellent training materials were researched and adapted with special consideration for the specific needs of the citizens of North Carolina. Special thanks goes to the members of the PIJ Advisory Committee; George R. “Pete” Clary III, Public Defender, Judicial District 21; Ms. Jeri Houchins, Project Coordinator, Justice Now! Of the People, By the People, and For the People; and, Ms. Diane Nelson Bryen and Ms. Beverly Frantz, National Academy for Equal Justice, for People with Developmental Disabilities, Institute on Disabilities at Temple University. Partners in Justice dedicates this presentation to the memory of Deborah Greenblatt, Esq., a tireless advocate for people with disabilities and charter member of the Partners in people with disabilities and charter member of the Partners in Justice Advisory Committee. Justice Advisory Committee.

38 For further information, contact: Partners in Justice The Arc of North Carolina 4200 Six Forks Road, Suite 100 Raleigh, NC Project Staff: Marian Hartman Marian Hartman Ann Elmore Ann Elmore Partners in Justice The Arc of North Carolina 4200 Six Forks Road, Suite 100 Raleigh, NC Project Staff: Marian Hartman Marian Hartman Ann Elmore Ann Elmore This project is supported by The Arc of North Carolina and the NC Council on Developmental Disabilities and the funds it receives through P.L , the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act of 2000.


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