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 NDIS website has a range of market information and data and insights including downloadable reports, presentations and spreadsheets, to help understand the NDIS both in Queensland and nationally. The latest NDIA quarterly performance report for Quarter 1, 2019-20 is now available. The...
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The Human Rights Act 2019 creates important opportunities to address human rights violations of vulnerable Queenslanders, including people with disability. With the commencement of the obligations under this legislation from 1 January 2020, the Act will be another tool for advocates to use to...
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Queensland Government media release Disaster preparation is set to become more inclusive in Queensland, thanks to the launch of new risk reduction resources to help people with disability be prepared for when disasters strike. Minister for Communities and Minister for Disability Services and...
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The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) is holding workshops across the state with a focus on access to the scheme. The workshop will cover: NDIS eligibility criteria How to request access What information to provide Where to go for more information Event details Brisbane When : 9 December...
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National Disability Services (NDS) invites you to participate in their Queensland NDS State Conference - Futures in Disability in 2020. The conference will be held at Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre (BCEC) on 7 to 8 May 2020. There are sponsorship and exhibition opportunities available...
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National Disability Services has announced the 2020 Queensland Disability Conference will take place at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, on 7 to 8 May 2020 . With a rich diversity of speakers, delegates and exhibitors, the program will encourage visionary thinking across the...
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The Inclusive Communities and You! event will showcase some of the proactive and innovative ways people in our community are pushing for a more inclusive community. The event, organised by Carers Queensland, is part of Social Inclusion Week (23 November to 1 December 2019). Attendees at the event...
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One of the key trial sites for the NDIS was the Hunter region, and six years on they have learnt a lot. CSIA brings you a full day of insights, learnings and opportunities from a range of organisations, people with disabilities and financial experts to help you prepare for the NDIS. The presenters...

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Are you looking for support in Queensland, or trying to find a service that meets your needs? Now you can search oneplace , the service directory hosted by the Queensland Family and Child Commission. oneplace is an easily accessible directory of community services to help Queensland families to get...
Peak organisation for community services organisations supporting people with a disability. www.nds.org.au
Queensland Government web portal with resources to support people with a disablity. www.qld.gov.au/disability
Queensland government departmental website www.communities.qld.gov.au/disability
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Author: 
Louise Mullins, Queensland Council of Social Service

Did you know as many as one in five Queenslanders has a disability? Every day, some face barriers to participating in their own community.

Everyone has a role to play in creating a more inclusive Queensland, whether as an individual, through business or as a member of a community group....

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Author: 
Natalie Siegel-Brown, Public Guardian

As the Queensland Public Guardian I am pleased to announce the inaugural opening of the Queensland Public Guardian’s Excellence Awards.

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Author: 
Sharon Daley, QCOSS

International Day of People with Disability (IDPwD) is held on 3 December each year.

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When talking about how services work with, support and connect with people with a disability, the idea of being ‘person centred’ has been around for a long time. It’s a pretty easy term to understand, but a little harder to put into practice.

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You can now access a series of resources that showcase best practice HACC Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander service delivery models. 

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