People with intellectual disability are not only over-represented as victims of crime, they are also over-represented as suspects or alleged offenders within the criminal justice system (French, 2007; Hayes, 2000, in Ellem & Wilson, 2010). Some commentators have suggested that as many as 35 percent of the young people in juvenile justice detention in Australia fall into the mild to moderate range of intellectual disability (West, 2011).

Research demonstrates that people with intellectual disability are most likely to commit offences involving impulsive or unpremeditated behaviour, rather than crimes involving planning and foresight. Offenders with intellectual disability also more likely to commit relatively minor offences, but to commit these offences repeatedly. They are also more likely to be charged with public order offences (French, 2007).

Many people with intellectual disability experience wide-ranging psychological and socio-economic disadvantages, which can predispose them to being charged with public order offences. MacDonald (2008) discusses several examples of the relationship between disadvantage and crime:

  • Poor ability to manage daily life activities, such as budgeting for food and maintaining accommodation, which leads to ‘survival crimes’ 
  • Poor organisational skills and memory, which leads to a failure to meet minor legal obligations 
  • Lack of education and knowledge about socially-acceptable behaviours and behaviours that constitute a crime 
  • Limited sex education and poor ability to discriminate between ‘public’ and ‘private’ behaviours 
  • Visibility in public spaces, as a result of poverty, homelessness and lack of daily occupation, which attracts high levels of surveillance 
  • Congregation amongst high-need populations and ‘survival cultures’ where conflict, abuse and exploitation are common 
  • Learned behaviours resulting from life experiences that include lack of dignity, privacy and respect afforded to their person and property, and victimisation.
decorative
The Inclusive Communities and You! event will showcase some of the proactive and innovative ways people in our community are pushing for a more inclusive community. The event, organised by Carers Queensland, is part of Social Inclusion Week (23 November to 1 December 2019). Attendees at the event...
decorative
One of the key trial sites for the NDIS was the Hunter region, and six years on they have learnt a lot. CSIA brings you a full day of insights, learnings and opportunities from a range of organisations, people with disabilities and financial experts to help you prepare for the NDIS. The presenters...
decorative
The latest Quarterly Report for the NDIS shows the world-leading NDIS had benefitted more Australians and from increasingly diverse backgrounds than ever before. Acting CEO of the NDIA, Vicki Rundle, said the latest COAG NDIS Quarterly Report for 1 April 2019 to 30 June 2019 shows the strong...
decorative
The NDIS have announced $100 million in funding for programs aimed at empowering people with disability across Australia. The Individual Capacity Building (ICB) grants will fund activities in the community over the next three years that benefit all Australians with disability, their carers and...
decorative
The National Disability Insurance Agency will open three Information, Linkages and Capacity Building (ILC) grant rounds, during August and September. Before these rounds are opened, a free 30-minute on-demand webinar is available to support organisations to get their ILC grant pitch right. The...
decorative
Minister for Disability Services Coralee O’Rourke today announced the start of public consultation for the review of the Disability Services Act 2006. “The Disability Services Act 2006 came into effect on 1 July 2006 and is the primary legislation in Queensland governing disability rights, services...
decorative
Queensland Government media release People with a disability using the TransLink Access Pass (TAP) will no longer pay for replacement card charges from August 1. Card expiry dates will be extended from one to five years too, meaning eligible travellers with a permanent disability won’t need to pay...
decorative
Queensland Government media release With the rollout of the NDIS locally from 1 July, Cairns region residents with disability are being encouraged by the Palaszczuk Government to check their eligibility and take up the opportunity to sign up to the scheme. Speaking about the rollout of the NDIS...
decorative
The Public Guardian last week awarded Townsville local, Kris Hood, with the Public Guardian Excellence Award for her role in supporting and advocating for clients with a disability. Kris is a Support Coordinator at Mercy Community NDIS Services Townsville and was awarded for her ‘excellence in...
decorative
The NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission is a new independent agency established to improve the quality and safety of NDIS supports and services. They regulate the NDIS market and handle complaints about the quality and safety of NDIS supports and services. This means there will be changes for...

Pages

Peter Kenyon
Author: 
Shelley Dunlop, QCOSS

Last week on 17 October 2014 the QCOSS State Conference - Building strength was held at the Convention and Exhibition Centre in Brisbane.

The program aimed to build on the strengths already existing within Queensland’s strong and resilient community service sector, as well...

Pages

See videos from StudioQ related to this topic

Share or Print