Update on the Disability Royal Commission

The Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation (VANE) of People with Disability (DRC) has started to focus on the experiences of people with disability, particularly people with a cognitive impairment.

Public Hearing 11, held from 16 – 25 February in Brisbane, looked at their interactions with the criminal justice system and the consequences.  This hearing explored

  • how and why people with cognitive disability cycle in and out of the criminal justice system
  • how the criminal justice system can, and often does, criminalise disability
  • the overrepresentation of First Nations people with cognitive impairment within the criminal justice system, and any differences in their experience
  • the long term and indefinite incarceration of people with cognitive impairment under forensic custody orders
  • the impact that appropriate diversion from the criminal justice system, and the provision of appropriate supports to people with disability, can have in reducing contact with the criminal justice system and in moving away from the criminalisation of disability.

The DRC also released their Third Progress Report Summary on 10 February 2021. This summarises the work carried out from 1July to 31 December 2020, highlighting their learnings, findings and further areas for exploration.

Full transcripts of all hearings (and summaries when released) are available on the DRC website, along with all three Progress Summary Reports – https://disability.royalcommission.gov.au.

For any further information, please contact Chelsea Arnold on 8273 7100 or [email protected].

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