Senator Biden Introduces Bill to Prevent Crimes Against People with Disabilities

October 5, 2008

The Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) applauds Sen. Joe Biden for introducing the "Crime Victims with Disabilities Act" (S. 3668) today.  The bill will help to increase the awareness, investigation, prosecution, and prevention of crimes against individuals with a disability, including developmental disabilities, and improve services to those who are victimized.  The legislation provides grants to state to facilitate collaboration among the criminal justice system and a range of agencies and other organizations that provide services to individuals with disabilities.

An estimated five million crimes are committed against individuals with developmental disabilities annually.  Over 70 percent of these crimes are not reported.

"People with disabilities are often especially vulnerable to becoming victims of crime, and yet, this population is often silent or ignored," said AUCD's Executive Director George Jesien, PhD.  "In addition to people with disabilities being more likely to be victimized, violent crimes can cause disabilities - emotional and physical -- that may last a lifetime.  We need reliable data to increase  our  knowledge and information about crimes against individuals with developmental disabilities. Without good data it is difficult to develop the needed strategies to reduce the incidence of crimes.  This bill is a step in the right direction to help protect individuals with disabilities by ensuring that crimes are reported, and that reported crimes are actively investigated by both law enforcement agencies and other organizations that serve and support individuals with disabilities. "

AUCD stands ready to help move this important measure toward enactment.



The Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD), located in Silver Spring, MD, promotes and supports a national network of interdisciplinary centers on disabilities. The members of AUCD represent every U.S. state and territory and include 67 University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDDs), 34 Interdisciplinary Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) Programs and 21 Developmental Disabilities Research Centers (DDRC). Together, these organizations advance policy and practice through research, education, leadership, and services for and with individuals with developmental and other disabilities, their families, and communities, in support of independence, productivity, and satisfying quality of life. For more information, visit AUCD's website