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  • crime status. Research could evaluate the viability of the prosecution of violence against persons with disabilities as a hate crime, and whether special sentencing provisions permitted under most hate crime legislation serve as a deterrent.


The final area of research concerns programs aimed at preventing the victimization of people with disabilities and treating those who experience victimization. The points below come from the papers by Sobsey and Calder, Baladerian, and Sullivan.

  • Mechanisms of victimization. The list of potential mechanisms that may contribute to the increased risk of abuse for people with developmental disabilities is long. More research is required to determine which of the mechanisms play a significant role and what other factors are important.

  • Evaluation of prevention efforts. Many advocacy organizations and criminal justice agencies are experimenting with programs to prevent the victimization of persons with disabilities. These efforts often involve training persons with developmental disabilities how to avoid dangerous situations. Evaluations of the effectiveness of such programs in reducing victimization are critical to ensuring the safety of people with developmental disabilities.

  • Development of treatment programs. Research on the needs of crime victims with developmental disabilities could help inform the development of appropriate treatment programs, which once developed must also be evaluated.

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