The incidence of individuals with disabilities in the criminal justice system is daunting. There is a real need for social workers to work to prevent this reality and support individuals with disabilities who are in this system. Social workers and other helping professionals can play an important role in supporting those at risk for entering the criminal justice system and those that have previously entered this system.
There are many challenges facing individuals with disabilities that can make them vulnerable to incarceration. Behaviors that may contribute to putting them at risk for incarceration include:
- Perceived antisocial behavior,
- Challenges picking up social cues, and
- Challenges with verbal and nonverbal messages.