Please join the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), First Peoples Disability Network (Australia), Disability Rights Fund, and Human Rights Watch for an interactive discussion with experts and advocates to discuss the risks and challenges faced by people with disabilities living behind bars and concrete steps that can be taken to address them.
CCR's Bertha Fellow, Britney Wilson, will sit on the leading panel that will discuss the risks and challenges that persons with disabilities experience in prisons around the world, with a focus on groups that experience multiple and compounding forms of disadvantage, discrimination, and neglect due to their background, gender, or ethnicity.
Persons with disabilities are overrepresented in the criminal justice systems in many countries around the world. Without adequate access to support services, they struggle to cope in often overcrowded prisons and routinely experience bullying, harassment, and physical and sexual violence. Due to a lack of staff sensitivity and training, prisoners with disabilities often face excessive force or end up disproportionately locked up in solitary confinement for 22 hours or more a day. In the absence of social contact and meaningful mental health services, the stress of a closed and heavily monitored environment is particularly damaging for prisoners with disabilities. In other cases, due to a lack of training, prison staff use unnecessary, excessive, and even malicious force against prisoners with disabilities contributing in some cases to their deaths in custody.
Alastair McEwin, Australian Disability Discrimination Commissioner
Damian Griffis, CEO, First Peoples Disability Network (Australia) & Co-chair, Change the Record Coalition
Marcia Richard, Peer Support Line Operator at NYC Well & Community Access participant with lived experience of the US criminal justice system
Britney Wilson, Attorney and Bertha Justice Fellow, Centre for Constitutional Rights
Kriti Sharma, Disability Rights Researcher, Human Rights Watch