I/DD and Criminal Justice
I am currently working on two research projects in this area. Below are brief descriptions of each.
I am collaborating with the Georgia Department of Corrections to obtain de-identified records of anyone entering into the Georgia prison system for a one-month span who may have an intellectual or developmental disability. We are identifying this possibility by retrieving any records of individuals whose Culture Fair IQ score is 70 or below (men & women) or indicate a disability or time in special education (women only). There are two data collection periods: last Fall and this Winter. We are running data to identify possible correlations with other health problems, criminal charge, and demographics. Preliminary data was presented at the 2018 International Forensic Mental Health Services conference in Antwerp, Belgium.
I am currently recruiting adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities in the metro Atlanta area to interview about any experience they have had with police, judges, lawyers, jails, and/or prisons. These experiences can be positive or negative, formal or informal. I am attempting to collect phenomenological experiences in order to get an idea of how people with these disabilities think and feel about these interactions. This information can then be useful in improving training programs about these disabilities for professionals throughout the criminal justice system.
I am currently working on an article inspired by the second project listed above that argues for increased attempts to seek out and respect phenomenological experiences of people with I/DD in research. Most information about this community in the research literature comes from caretakers and professionals. I am arguing that this is largely the result of testimonial injustice (i.e. Miranda Fricker’s work) and the way philosophy has traditionally talked about intellectual disability (i.e. Licia Carlson and Eva Kittay’s work). In this article, I will build a case for why these perspectives are important and how we can usefully analyze them in qualitative research.
I am working with a small group of Atlanta based autism researchers and professionals to develop Break The Cycle of Autism Disparities. This group will focus on encouraging research that identifies and address disparities in autism, from identification to care, both home and abroad.