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.
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The Careers in Disability Expo showcases current and future jobs to support people with disability in your community. The rollout of the National Disability Insurance Scheme is expected to create up to 900 and 1,100 additional jobs in the Toowoomba transition area when fully operational. At the...
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The Honorable Coralee O'Rourke MP and the Queensland NDIS Transition Advisory Group will be holding industry briefings across Queensland to explore what we have learnt from year one of the NDIS transition and the potential implications for business as Queensland progresses to the full scheme. The...
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A free community Workability Expo in Brisbane will showcare employment, training and career options for people with a disability. The event at Kedron Wavell Services Club, Chermside, will connect people with educators, employment services, service providers and community organisations. Event...
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NDS invites you to participate in this two day workshop - Making the NDIS your Business! This workshop will comprehensively cover what organisations need to know about building a transition plan and costing and pricing in an NDIS environment. This workshop is suitable for CEOs/Executives and CFOs/...
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NDS Queensland is offering workshops on Costing and Pricing in a NDIS Environment in Bundaberg, Rockhampton and Hervey Bay. Costing and pricing skill and knowledge is a key area for providers to improve business practices to be prepared to operate in the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)...
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Queensland Government media release Gold Coast business and community leaders have come together 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 NDIS discussions...
NDS in collaboration with local disability service providers invites you to a one day workshop NDIS Nuts and Bolts unpacking the processes of providing service under the NDIS with Sam Paior. Sam presents a unique opportunity around what you need to know to provide services to people with a...
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Queensland Government media release The Queensland Government has unveiled a new disability plan that will create opportunities for the economic and social participation of people with disability. Minister for Disability Services Coralee O’Rourke launched the All Abilities Queensland: opportunities...
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A Bill has been introduced in Federal Parliament to establish a Commission to monitor the quality and safety of services providing support to individuals on the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). The Commission will be known as the 'NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission' and will...
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People who are receiving disability supports funded by the Queensland Government but are not eligible for the NDIS will continue to be supported under Continuity of Support arrangements. . The Commonwealth Government Department of Health is implementing the Continuity of Support Programme (CoS) for...

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