Tuesday in the Assembly Public Safety Committee CALCASA testified on AB 2038 (Lieber) Persons with disabilities; victims of crime.
According to Lieber’s office,

“crime against victims with disabilities has been called an ‘invisible epidemic,’ comparable with domestic violence before society awakened to the horror and widespread extent of that terrible problem. Children and elders with disabilities, homeless people with disabilities, and people with disabilities in care, treatment, and incarceration facilities are among those most vulnerable and most often victimized.”

The Crime Victims with Disabilities Act attempts to create a comprehensive approach, upgrading law enforcement training, giving police and judges new tools to protect victims, assuring that relevant state agencies focus on the problem, and changing terminology to make it clear to all that the law protects all Californians with disabilities.
Because of the state budget crisis, it is impossible to create any new General Fund costs. But even with that major restriction, there is much that can be done in 2008.
A few of the changes brought forth by this bill include:

  • Increases Law Enforcement Training and Policies
  • Creates More Accurate Terminology
  • Supports the Reporting and Investigating of Crimes Against People with Disabilities
  • Addresses Both Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Against Victims with Disabilities

Those in support of the bill included:

  • The Arc of California (sponsor)
  • California Coalition Against Sexual Assault (CALCASA)
  • Protection and Advocacy, Inc.