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.
The NDS Queensland state committee invites service providers of the Sunshine Coast, Cairns and Fraser Coast regions to discuss questions around the NDIS rollout. Committee members hold a range of experience covering various rollout regions and service size, and offer an afternoon of sharing...
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National Disability Services (NDS) in conjunction with The MindShift Foundation invites you to the first CEO Boardroom lunch for 2018. The guest speaker is Fran Connelley, a non-profit marketing specialist and the author of How to thrive under the NDIS . At the lunch Fran will talk about the...
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The disability sector has a diverse range of jobs to match across a range of life experience, skills and qualifications. The Careers in Disability website is the place to get connected to vacancies and opportunities within the sector. The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) creates...
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The ABC have announced a Regional Storyteller Scholarship for regional Australians with a disability, who are interested in enhancing their storytelling skills and experience. Worth more than $20,000, the scholarship is a bespoke ABC experience that will be tailored to the recipient’s content...
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Legal Aid Queensland has published a series of captioned recordings about their services on their YouTube channel . Videos for community, health and education workers can be found here and include their published community legal education webinars. The next webinar is Child Protection - the law and...
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Queensland Government media release The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is continuing to make a difference to the lives of people with disability across North Queensland, with the Townsville office front and centre of its efforts. Disability Services Minister Coralee O’Rourke celebrated...
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NDS Invitation - Navigating Disability Housing in the NDIS Context: Using SDA & SIL to drive innovation NDS is hosting this forum to assist disability service providers to navigate the complexities of the NDIS disability housing environment. We will hear from a number of key stakeholders who...
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The NDIS has released a number of information videos in Australian Sign Language (Auslan). Videos include 'About the NDIS', 'My NDIS Pathway', and 'Key NDIS concepts'. To access the videos go to the NDIS YouTube channel.
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Queensland Government media release One of Queensland’s leading carers’ support agencies is set to continue receiving funding from the Palaszczuk Government as it transitions to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). Disability Services Minister and Member for Mundingburra Coralee O’...
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Wide Bay business and community leaders have come together on 12 September to discuss the economic and employment opportunities the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) will bring to the region. Disability Services Minister Coralee O’Rourke said the roundtable discussions would help...

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