On January 11, 2017, the United States Justice Department issued guidance to facilitate criminal justice entities' compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) during interactions with individuals with mental health disabilities or intellectual or developmental disabilities.
Title II of the ADA applies to public entities, such as the criminal just system and provides that no qualified individual with a disability shall, because of that disability, be excluded from participation in, denied the benefits of, or subjected to discrimination in the services, programs and activities of the public entity.
The guidance explains that, in addition to ensuring that people with mental health disabilities, intellectual disabilities, or developmental disabilities have equal opportunities to participate in services and programs, the criminal justice system should consider systemic issues and employ training programs to prepare personnel to execute their ADA responsibilities. The guidance provides examples of how leaders have facilitated compliance with the ADA and provides best practices.
Read the full guidance here.