Nov 30, 2023
Using a review of published literature, interviews conducted with professionals and people with disabilities and legal system experience, and input from an advisory board of people with professional and/or lived experience, the authors of this report identify ten research priorities related to people with disabilities in the U.S. legal system.
A Proposed Agenda for Future Research
Published Nov 30, 2023
The legal system can be difficult to navigate, even for individuals who have the benefit of resources, support, and knowledge about how the system works. For individuals with disabilities, it can be even more challenging.
To better understand the experiences of people with disabilities who encounter the criminal and civil legal systems, the authors of this report conducted two studies. First, they carried out an environmental scan of academic and gray literature published in the past 15 years, focused on adults in the United States. Second, they interviewed 32 stakeholders, including professionals and people with disabilities and legal system experience, to (1) understand what it is like to experience the U.S. legal system while having a disability and (2) identify key knowledge gaps and research needs. The goals of this research were to understand the current landscape of the literature; explore the ways in which policies address the needs and rights of people with disabilities; and understand key challenges, gaps in knowledge, and promising practices.
In this report, the authors triangulate the findings of these two studies, garnering input from an advisory board of people with professional and/or lived experience, to propose a research agenda to guide researchers in their exploration of concerns related to individuals with disabilities and their interactions with the legal system.