Abundant evidence exists in regard to the injustice experienced by people with cognitive disabilities in contact, or at risk of contact, with the justice system. This includes contact as victims, witnesses or alleged perpetrators.
In NSW people with mental health disorders and cognitive impairment are 3 to 9 times more likely to be in prison than the general NSW population.
The Disability Justice Project was established to build the capacity of disability service providers throughout NSW, to more effectively assist people with cognitive disabilities at risk of, or in, contact with the justice system. There was a significant focus within the Project on meeting the needs of Aboriginal people, who face even higher risks in regard to contact with the justice system. This makes them the most vulnerable cohort in regard to disability justice and a priority group for culturally competent responses – including awareness raising, capacity building and outreach services..
The Project provided a person-centred, rights-based, accessible approach to help drive meaningful progress, to ensure justice for people with cognitive disabilities.
The Disability Justice Practice Framework document provides an in-depth summary of the project and best practice principles, and was a key component of the overall Project. It was designed for use by individual disability service providers and practitioners to embed disability justice best practice into their organisation.
The Disability Justice Framework included:
- Disability Justice Shared Vision
- Disability Justice Best Practice Principles
- Disability Best Practice Indicators
- Legal and Ethical Framework Foundations
A 6 page Summary of the Disability Justice Project Framework document is also available.
 For the purposes of the Framework, further references to Aboriginal peoples will be inclusive of Torres Strait Islander peoples.