This project addresses the problem of inability and lack of knowledge of procedures for dealing with people with intellectual disabilities among police officers in the Lubelskie voivodship. Often, police do not recognize unusual behavior as disability, and people who are detained do not receive support suitable for their disability-related needs. Often, they do not understand criminal proceedings and cannot participate in them properly. This reduces the likelihood of them being assured due process. A few years ago, there was a highly publicized case in Poland of a person with cerebral palsy who was convicted and ordered to do community work for not paying a bus fare. This is an example of the importance of recognizing disability and proper conduct of an interview. Unfortunately this issue is not covered in basic police training.
The Project Promoter will organize eight meetings for police officers on recognizing and procedure for dealing with people with disabilities. They will also participate in research on the knowledge and practices used by police with respect to people with disabilities. The findings will be included in a report, with recommendations, to be used for advocacy measures (for instance for training on the subject of disability to be compulsory and employment of experts at police stations).
Forty police officers in the Lubelski region will benefit directly, improving their ability to recognize various disabilities and learning procedures and how to talk to people with disabilities, and the options for providing assistance. In fact, any people with disabilities of various kinds, including intellectual disability, whose needs and right to due process are acknowledged by law enforcement bodies, will benefit.