Text: S.1976 — 105th Congress (1997-1998)All Information (Except Text)

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Public Law No: 105-301 (10/27/1998)

 
[105th Congress Public Law 301]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]


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[DOCID: f:publ301.105]

              CRIME VICTIMS WITH DISABILITIES AWARENESS ACT
Public Law 105-301
105th Congress

                                 An Act


 
  To increase public awareness of the plight of victims of crime with 
developmental disabilities, to collect data to measure the magnitude of 
the problem, and to develop strategies to address the safety and justice 
needs of victims of crime with developmental disabilities. <<NOTE: Oct. 
                        27, 1998 -  [S. 1976]>> 

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in <<NOTE: Crime Victims With Disabilities 
Awareness Act. 42 USC 3732 note.>> Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Crime Victims With Disabilities 
Awareness Act''.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS; PURPOSES.

    (a) Findings.--Congress finds that--
            (1) although research conducted abroad demonstrates that 
        individuals with developmental disabilities are at a 4 to 10 
        times higher risk of becoming crime victims than those without 
        disabilities, there have been no significant studies on this 
        subject conducted in the United States;
            (2) in fact, the National Crime Victim's Survey, conducted 
        annually by the Bureau of Justice Statistics of the Department 
        of Justice, does not specifically collect data relating to 
        crimes against individuals with developmental disabilities;
            (3) studies in Canada, Australia, and Great Britain 
        consistently show that victims with developmental disabilities 
        suffer repeated victimization because so few of the crimes 
        against them are reported, and even when they are, there is 
        sometimes a reluctance by police, prosecutors, and judges to 
        rely on the testimony of a disabled individual, making 
        individuals with developmental disabilities a target for 
        criminal predators;
            (4) research in the United States needs to be done to--
                    (A) understand the nature and extent of crimes 
                against individuals with developmental disabilities;
                    (B) describe the manner in which the justice system 
                responds to crimes against individuals with 
                developmental disabilities; and
                    (C) identify programs, policies, or laws that hold 
                promises for making the justice system more responsive 
                to crimes against individuals with developmental 
                disabilities; and
            (5) the National Academy of Science Committee on Law and 
        Justice of the National Research Council is a premier research 
        institution with unique experience in developing seminal, 
        multidisciplinary studies to establish a strong research base 
        from which to make public policy.

    (b) Purposes.--The purposes of this Act are--
            (1) to increase public awareness of the plight of victims of 
        crime who are individuals with developmental disabilities;
            (2) to collect data to measure the extent of the problem of 
        crimes against individuals with developmental disabilities; and
            (3) to develop a basis to find new strategies to address the 
        safety and justice needs of victims of crime who are individuals 
        with developmental disabilities.

SEC. 3. DEFINITION OF DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITY.

    In this Act, the term ``developmental disability'' has the meaning 
given the term in section 102 of the Developmental Disabilities 
Assistance and Bill of Rights Act (42 U.S.C. 6001).

SEC. 4. STUDY.

    (a) In General.--The Attorney General shall conduct a study to 
increase knowledge and information about crimes against individuals with 
developmental disabilities that will be useful in developing new 
strategies to reduce the incidence of crimes against those individuals.
    (b) Issues Addressed.--The study conducted under this section shall 
address such issues as--
            (1) the nature and extent of crimes against individuals with 
        developmental disabilities;
            (2) the risk factors associated with victimization of 
        individuals with developmental disabilities;
            (3) the manner in which the justice system responds to 
        crimes against individuals with developmental disabilities; and
            (4) the means by which States may establish and maintain a 
        centralized computer database on the incidence of crimes against 
        individuals with disabilities within a State.

    (c) National Academy of <<NOTE: Contracts.>> Sciences.--In carrying 
out this section, the Attorney General shall consider contracting with 
the Committee on Law and Justice of the National Research Council of the 
National Academy of Sciences to provide research for the study conducted 
under this section.

    (d) Report.--Not later than 18 months after the date of enactment of 
this Act, the Attorney General shall submit to the Committees on the 
Judiciary of the Senate and the House of Representatives a report 
describing the results of the study conducted under this section.

SEC. 5. NATIONAL CRIME VICTIM'S SURVEY.

    Not later than 2 years after the date of enactment of this Act, as 
part of each National Crime Victim's Survey, the Attorney General shall 
include statistics relating to--
            (1) the nature of crimes against individuals with 
        developmental disabilities; and
            (2) the specific characteristics of the victims of those 
        crimes.

    Approved October 27, 1998.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY--S. 1976:
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CONGRESSIONAL RECORD, Vol. 144 (1998):
            July 13, considered and passed Senate.
            Oct. 7, considered and passed House.

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