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The Facts

The Facts

1. Among adults who are developmentally disabled, as many as 83% of females and 32% of males are victims of sexual assault. In addition, forty-nine percent (49%) will experience ten or more abuse incidents.
Johnson, I., Sigler R. (2000). “Forced Sexual Intercourse Among Intimates,” Journal of Interpersonal Violence. 15 (1).
Valenti-Hein, D. & Schwartz, L. (1995). The Sexual Abuse Interview for Those with Developmental Disabilities. James Stanfield Company. Santa Barbara: California.


2. According to a report by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, persons age 12 or older who had disabilities experienced an estimated 1.3 million nonfatal violent crimes (rape, sexual assault, robbery, aggravated assault and simple assault) in 2012.
Harrell, Erika (2014). “Bureau of Justice Statistics Crime Against Persons With Disabilities, 2009-2012 – Statistical Tables.” Crime Against People with Disabilities Series.


3. In 2012, persons with disabilities experienced an estimated 233,000 robberies, 195,200 aggravated assaults, 838,600 simple assaults and 80,100 rapes or other sexual assaults.
Harrell, Erika (2014). “Bureau of Justice Statistics Crime Against Persons With Disabilities, 2009-2012 – Statistical Tables.” Crime Against People with Disabilities Series.


4. Among persons with disabilities, those with cognitive disabilities had the highest unadjusted rate of violent victimization (63 per 1000). During 2012, about half (52 percent) of violent crime victims with disabilities had more than one disability.
Harrell, Erika (2014). “Bureau of Justice Statistics Crime Against Persons With Disabilities, 2009-2012 – Statistical Tables.” Crime Against People with Disabilities Series.


5. Of the first 200 DNA exonerations in the U.S., 35% of the false confessors were 18 years or younger and/or had a developmental disability. In their sample of wrongful convictions, Gross, Jacoby, Matheson, Montgomery, and Patel (2005) found that 44% of the exonerated juveniles and 69% of exonerated persons with mental disabilities were wrongly convicted because of false confessions.
Gross, S. R., Jacoby, K., Matheson, D. J., Montgomery, N., & Patel, S. (2005). Exonerations in the United States, 1989 through 2003. Journal of Criminal Law & Criminology, 95, 523-553.


6. Drizin and Leo (2004) analyzed 125 cases of proven false confessions in the U.S. between 1971 and 2002, the largest sample ever studied. Twenty-two percent (22%) of the false confessors were intellectually and developmentally disabled (I/DD), and 10% had a diagnosed mental illness.
Drizin, S. A., & Leo, R. A. (2004). The problem of false confessions in the post-DNA world. North Carolina Law Review, 82, 891-1007.


7. In their study of 125 proven false confessions, Drizin and Leo (2004) thus found, in cases in which interrogation time was recorded, that 34% lasted 6-12 hours, that 39% lasted 12-24 hours, and that the mean was 16.3 hours.
Drizin, S. A., & Leo, R. A. (2004). The problem of false confessions in the post-DNA world. North Carolina Law Review, 82, 891-1007.


8. Across four studies of Miranda comprehension, findings are quite consistent in showing that persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) have significant deficits in their understanding and appreciation of Miranda warnings (Cloud, Shepard, Barkoff, & Shur, 2002; Everington & Fulero, 1999; Fulero & Everington, 1995; O’Connell, Garmoe, & Goldstein, 2005). For example, O’Connell et al. (2005) found that 50% of people with mild intellectual and developmental disabilities in their sample could not correctly paraphrase any of the five Miranda components. In comparison, less than 1% of adults in the general population score similarly low (Grisso, 1996).
Cloud, M., Shepard, G. B., Barkoff, A. N., & Shur, J. V. (2002). Words without meaning: The Constitution, confessions, and mentally retarded suspects. University of Chicago Law Review, 69, 495-624.
Everington, C., & Fulero, S. (1999). Competence to confess: Measuring understanding and suggestibility of defendants with mental retardation. Mental Retardation, 37, 212-220.
Fulero, S., & Everington, C. (1995). Assessing competency to waive Miranda rights in defendants with mental retardation. Law and Human Behavior, 19, 533-545.
Grisso, T. (1996). Society’s retributive response to juvenile violence: A developmental perspective. Law and Human Behavior, 20, 229-247.
O’Connell, M.J., Garmoe, W., & Goldstein, N. E. S. (2005). Miranda comprehension in adults with mental retardation and the effects of feedback style on suggestibility. Law and Human Behavior, 29, 359-369.


9. One in 68 U.S. children has an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), a 30% increase from 1 in 88 two years ago, according to a 2014 report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Falco, Miriam. “Autism Rates Now 1 in 68 U.S. Children: CDC.” CNN. Cable News Network, 28 Mar. 2014. Web. <http://www.cnn.com/2014/03/27/health/cdc-autism/index.html?iref=allsearch>.


10. According to a report by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), persons 16 years and over who had a disability had a participation rate of 20.1 in the labor market as compared to a 68.5 participation rate from persons with no disability.
“Table A-6. Employment Status of the Civilian Population by Sex, Age, and Disability Status, Not Seasonally Adjusted.” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. United States Department of Labor, 3 Oct. 2014. Web. <http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.t06.htm>.