Text: S.3668 — 110th Congress (2007-2008)All Bill Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in Senate (10/01/2008)


110th CONGRESS
2d Session
S. 3668

To create a grant program for collaboration programs that ensure coordination among criminal justice agencies, adult protective services agencies, victim assistance programs, and other agencies or organizations providing services to individuals with disabilities in the investigation and response to abuse of or crimes committed against such individuals.


IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
October 1 (legislative day, September 17), 2008

Mr. Biden introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary


A BILL

To create a grant program for collaboration programs that ensure coordination among criminal justice agencies, adult protective services agencies, victim assistance programs, and other agencies or organizations providing services to individuals with disabilities in the investigation and response to abuse of or crimes committed against such individuals.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the “Crime Victims with Disabilities Act of 2008”.

SEC. 2. Findings.

Congress finds the following:

(1) Adults with disabilities experience violence or abuse at least twice as often as people without disabilities, and adults with developmental disabilities are at risk of being physically or sexually assaulted at rates four to ten times greater than other adults.

(2) Individuals with disabilities suffer from additional “victimization” within the justice system, due to lack of physical, programmatic, and communications accommodations needed for equal access.

(3) Women with disabilities are more likely to be victimized, to experience more severe and prolonged violence, and to suffer more serious and chronic effects from that violence, than women without such disabilities.

(4) Sixty-eight to 83 percent of women with developmental disabilities will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime.

(5) An estimated 5,000,000 crimes are committed against individuals with developmental disabilities annually.

(6) Over 70 percent of crimes committed against individuals with developmental disabilities are not reported.

(7) Studies in the United States, 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.

(8) The National Crime Victims 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, nor do they use disability as a demographic variable as they use other important demographic variables, such as gender, age, and racial and ethnic membership.

SEC. 3. Purpose.

(a) In general.—The purpose of this Act is to increase the awareness, investigation, prosecution, and prevention of crimes against individuals with a disability, including developmental disabilities, and improve services to those who are victimized, by facilitating collaboration among the criminal justice system and a range of agencies and other organizations that provide services to individuals with disabilities.

(b) Need for collaboration.—Collaboration among the criminal justice system and agencies and other organizations that provide services to individuals with disabilities is needed to—

(1) protect individuals with disabilities by ensuring that crimes are reported, and that reported crimes are actively investigated by both law enforcement agencies and agencies and other organizations that provide services to individuals with disabilities;

(2) provide prosecutors and victim assistance organizations with adequate training to ensure that crimes against individuals with disabilities are appropriately and effectively addressed in court;

(3) identify and ensure that appropriate reasonable accommodations are provided to individuals with disabilities in a safe and conducive environment, allowing crimes to be reported accurately to law enforcement agencies; and

(4) promote communication among criminal justice agencies, and agencies and other organizations that provide services to individuals with disabilities, including Victim Assistance Organizations, to ensure that the needs of crime victims with disabilities are met.

SEC. 4. Department of Justice Crime Victims With Disabilities Collaboration Program.

The Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 (42 U.S.C. 3711 et seq.) is amended by adding at the end the following:

“PART JJGrants to respond to crimes against individuals with disabilities

“SEC. 3001. Crime Victims with Disabilities Collaboration Program grants.

“(a) Definitions.—In this section:

“(1) APPLICANT.—The term ‘applicant’ means a State, unit of local government, Indian tribe, or tribal organization that applies for a grant under this section.

“(2) COLLABORATION PROGRAM.—The term ‘collaboration program’ means a program to ensure coordination between or among a criminal justice agency, an adult protective services agency, a victim assistance organization, and an agency or other organization that provides services to individuals with disabilities, including but not limited to individuals with developmental disabilities, to address crimes committed against individuals with disabilities and to provide services to individuals with disabilities who are victims of crimes.

“(3) CRIMINAL JUSTICE AGENCY.—The term ‘criminal justice agency’ means an agency of a State, unit of local government, Indian tribe, or tribal organization that is responsible for detection, investigation, arrest, enforcement, adjudication, or incarceration relating to the violation of the criminal laws of that State, unit of local government, Indian tribe, or tribal organization, or an agency contracted to provide such services.

“(4) ADULT PROTECTIVE SERVICES AGENCY.—The term ‘adult protective services agency’ means an agency that provides adult protective services to adults with disabilities, such as the protection and advocacy systems established under section 143 of the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act of 2000 (42 U.S.C. 15043), including—

“(A) receiving reports of abuse, neglect, or exploitation;

“(B) investigating the reports described in subparagraph (A);

“(C) case planning, monitoring, evaluation, and other casework and services; and

“(D) providing, arranging for, or facilitating the provision of medical, social service, economic, legal, housing, law enforcement, or other protective, emergency, or support services for adults with disabilities.

“(5) DAY PROGRAM.—The term ‘day program’ means a government or privately funded program that provides care, supervision, social opportunities, or jobs to individuals with disabilities.

“(6) IMPLEMENTATION GRANT.—The term ‘implementation grant’ means a grant under subsection (e).

“(7) INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES.—The term ‘individuals with disabilities’ means individuals—

“(A) 18 years of age or older; and

“(B) who have a developmental, cognitive, physical, or other disability that results in substantial functional limitations in one or more of the following areas of major life activity:

“(i) Self-care.

“(ii) Receptive and expressive language.

“(iii) Learning.

“(iv) Mobility.

“(v) Self-direction.

“(vi) Capacity for independent living.

“(vii) Economic self-sufficiency.

“(viii) Cognitive functioning.

“(ix) Emotional adjustment.

“(8) PLANNING GRANT.—The term ‘planning grant’ means a grant under subsection (f).

“(9) SECRETARY.—The term ‘Secretary’ means the Secretary of Health and Human Services.

“(10) UNIT OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT.—The term ‘unit of local government’ means any city, county, township, town, borough, parish, village, or other general purpose political subdivision of a State.

“(b) Authorization.—In consultation with the Secretary, the Attorney General may make grants to applicants to prepare a comprehensive plan for or to implement a collaboration program that provides for—

“(1) the investigation and remediation of instances of abuse of or crimes committed against individuals with disabilities; or

“(2) the provision of services to individuals with disabilities who are the victims of a crime or abuse.

“(c) Use of funds.—A grant under this section shall be used for a collaborative program that—

“(1) receives reports of abuse of individuals with disabilities or crimes committed against such individuals;

“(2) investigates and evaluates reports of abuse of or crimes committed against individuals with disabilities;

“(3) visits the homes or other locations of abuse, and, if applicable, the day programs of individuals with disabilities who have been victims of abuse or a crime for purposes of, among other things, assessing the scene of the abuse and evaluating the condition and needs of the victim;

“(4) identifies the individuals responsible for the abuse of or crimes committed against individuals with disabilities;

“(5) remedies issues identified during an investigation described in paragraph (2);

“(6) prosecutes the perpetrator, where appropriate, of any crime identified during an investigation described in paragraph (2);

“(7) provides services to and enforces statutory rights of individuals with disabilities who are the victims of a crime; and

“(8) develops curricula and provides interdisciplinary training for prosecutors, criminal justice agencies, protective service agencies, victims assistance agencies, educators, community based providers and health, mental health, and allied health professionals in the area of disabilities, including developmental disabilities.

“(d) Applications.—

“(1) IN GENERAL.—To receive a planning grant or an implementation grant, an applicant shall submit an application to the Attorney General at such time, in such manner, and containing such information as the Attorney General, in consultation with the Secretary, may reasonably require, in addition to the information required by subsection (e)(1) or (f)(1), respectively.

“(2) COMBINED PLANNING AND IMPLEMENTATION GRANT APPLICATION.—

“(A) IN GENERAL.—The Attorney General, in consultation with the Secretary, shall develop a procedure allowing an applicant to submit a single application requesting both a planning grant and an implementation grant.

“(B) CONDITIONAL GRANT.—The award of an implementation grant to an applicant submitting an application under subparagraph (A) shall be conditioned on successful completion of the activities funded under the planning grant, if applicable.

“(e) Planning grants.—

“(1) APPLICATIONS.—An application for a planning grant shall include, at a minimum—

“(A) a budget;

“(B) a budget justification;

“(C) a description of the outcome measures that will be used to measure the effectiveness of the program;

“(D) a schedule for completing the activities proposed in the application;

“(E) a description of the personnel necessary to complete activities proposed in the application; and

“(F) provide assurances that program activities and locations are and will be in compliance with section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 throughout the grant period.

“(2) PERIOD OF GRANT.—A planning grant shall be made for a period of 1 year, beginning on the first day of the month in which the planning grant is made.

“(3) AMOUNT.—The amount of planning grant shall not exceed $50,000, except that the Attorney General may, for good cause, approve a grant in a higher amount.

“(4) LIMIT ON NUMBER.—The Attorney General, in consultation with the Secretary, shall not make more than one such planning grant to any State, unit of local government, Indian tribe, or tribal organization.

“(f) Implementation grants.—

“(1) IMPLEMENTATION GRANT APPLICATIONS.—An application for an implementation grant shall include the following:

“(A) COLLABORATION.—An application for an implementation grant shall—

“(i) identify not fewer than one criminal justice enforcement agency or adult protective services organization and not fewer than one agency, crime victim assistance program, or other organization that provides services to individuals with disabilities, such as the protection and advocacy systems established under section 143 of the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act of 2000 (42 U.S.C. 15043), that will participate in the collaborative program; and

“(ii) describe the responsibilities of each participating agency or organization, including how each agency or organization will use grant funds to facilitate improved responses to reports of abuse and crimes committed against individuals with disabilities.

“(B) GUIDELINES.—An application for an implementation grant shall describe the guidelines that will be developed for personnel of a criminal justice agency, adult protective services organization, crime victim assistance program, and agencies or other organizations responsible for services provided to individuals with disabilities to carry out the goals of the collaborative program.

“(C) FINANCIAL.—An application for an implementation grant shall—

“(i) explain why the applicant is unable to fund the collaboration program adequately without Federal funds;

“(ii) specify how the Federal funds provided will be used to supplement, and not supplant, the funding that would otherwise be available from the State, unit of local government, Indian tribe, or tribal organization; and

“(iii) outline plans for obtaining necessary support and continuing the proposed collaboration program following the conclusion of the grant under this section.

“(D) OUTCOMES.—An application for an implementation grant shall—

“(i) identify the methodology and outcome measures, as required by the Attorney General, in consultation with the Secretary, for evaluating the effectiveness of the collaboration program, which may include—

“(I) the number and type of agencies participating in the collaboration;

“(II) any trends in the number and type of cases referred for multidisciplinary case review;

“(III) any trends in the timeliness of law enforcement review of reported cases of violence against individuals with a disability; and

“(IV) the number of persons receiving training by type of agency;

“(ii) describe the mechanisms of any existing system to capture data necessary to evaluate the effectiveness of the collaboration program, consistent with the methodology and outcome measures described in clause (i) and including, where possible, data regarding—

“(I) the number of cases referred by the adult protective services agency, or other relevant agency, to law enforcement for review;

“(II) the number of charges filed and percentage of cases with charges filed as a result of such referrals;

“(III) the period of time between reports of violence against individuals with disabilities and law enforcement review; and

“(IV) the number of cases resulting in criminal prosecution, and the result of each such prosecution; and

“(iii) include an agreement from any participating or affected agency or organization to provide the data described in clause (ii).

“(E) FORM OF DATA.—The Attorney General, in consultation with the Secretary, shall promulgate and supply a common electronic reporting form or other standardized mechanism for reporting of data required under this section.

“(F) COLLABORATION SET ASIDE.—Not less than 5 percent and not more than 10 percent of the funds provided under an implementation grant shall be set aside to procure technical assistance from any recognized State model program or from a recognized national organization, as determined by the Attorney General (in consultation with the Secretary), including the National District Attorneys Association and the National Adult Protective Services Association.

“(G) OTHER PROGRAMS.—An applicant for an implementation grant shall describe the relationship of the collaboration program to any other program of a criminal justice agency or other agencies or organizations providing services to individuals with disabilities of the State, unit of local government, Indian tribe, or tribal organization applying for an implementation grant.

“(2) PERIOD OF GRANT.—

“(A) IN GENERAL.—An implementation grant shall be made for a period of 2 years, beginning on the first day of the month in which the implementation grant is made.

“(B) RENEWAL.—An implementation grant may be renewed for one additional period of 2 years, if the applicant submits to the Attorney General and the Secretary a detailed explanation of why additional funds are necessary.

“(3) AMOUNT.—An implementation grant shall not exceed $300,000.

“(g) Evaluation of program efficacy.—

“(1) ESTABLISHMENT.—The Attorney General, in consultation with the Secretary, shall establish a national center to evaluate the overall effectiveness of the collaboration programs funded under this section.

“(2) RESPONSIBILITIES.—The national center established under paragraph (1) shall—

“(A) analyze information and data supplied by grantees under this section; and

“(B) submit an annual report to the Attorney General and the Secretary that evaluates the number and rate of change of reporting, investigation, and prosecution of charges of a crime or abuse against individuals with disabilities.

“(3) AUTHORIZATION.—The Attorney General may use not more than $500,000 of amounts made available under subsection (h) to carry out this subsection.

“(h) Authorization of appropriations.—There are authorized to be appropriated to the Department of Justice to carry out this section—

“(1) $10,000,000 for fiscal year 2009; and

“(2) such sums as are necessary for each of fiscal years 2010 through 2015.”.

SEC. 5. Research grant and report.

(a) In general.—The purpose of this section is to provide for research to assist the Attorney General in collecting valid, reliable national data relating to crimes against individuals with developmental and related disabilities for the National Crime Victims Survey conducted by the Bureau of Justice Statistics of the Department of Justice as required by the Crime Victims with Disabilities Awareness Act.

(b) National interdisciplinary advisory council.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—Not later than 90 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Health and Human Services shall establish a national interdisciplinary advisory council (referred to in this section as the “advisory council”), that includes individuals with disabilities, which shall provide input into the methodologies used to collect valid, reliable national data on crime victims with developmental and related disabilities, participate in reviewing the data collected through the research grant program, and assist in writing the final report.

(2) RECOMMENDED METHODOLOGY.—Not later than 6 months after the establishment of the advisory council, the advisory council shall provide to the Secretary of Health and Human Services its recommended methodology for collecting incidence data on violence against people with developmental and related disabilities.

(c) Research grant program.—Not later than 12 months after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Health and Human Services shall—

(1) review the methodology developed by the advisory council related to collecting incidence data on violence against people with developmental and related disabilities; and

(2) based on such review, shall award grants in accordance with this section to eligible recipients, to collect valid, reliable national data on crime victims with developmental and related disabilities that can be validly compared to data from the National Crime Victims Survey.

(d) Report.—Not later than 12 months after the Secretary of Health and Human Services awards the research grants under subsection (c), the advisory council shall review the data eligible recipients of the grants collected and write a report to be presented to the Secretary of Health and Human Services, the Attorney General, and the Bureau of Justice Statistics.

(e) Definitions.—

(1) ELIGIBLE RECIPIENT.—The term “eligible recipient” means—

(A) a State agency;

(B) a private, nonprofit organization;

(C) a University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities; or

(D) any public entity that has a demonstrated ability to—

(i) collaborate with criminal justice, child welfare, and other agencies and organizations that provide services to individuals with disabilities, including victim assistance and violence prevention organizations, to ensure that incidence data can be aggregated to accurately show the incidence of abuse of individuals with disabilities nationally; and

(ii) conduct research and collect data to measure the extent of the problem of crimes against individuals with developmental and related disabilities, including—

(I) understanding the nature and extent of crimes against individuals with developmental and related disabilities, including domestic violence and all types of abuse;

(II) describing the manner in which the justice system responds to crimes against individuals with developmental and related disabilities; and

(III) identifying programs, policies, or laws that hold promises for making the justice system more responsive to crimes against individuals with developmental and related disabilities.

(2) DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES.—The term “developmental disabilities” has the meaning given that term in section 102(8) of the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act of 2000 (42 U.S.C. 15002(8)).

(3) RELATED DISABILITIES.—The term “related disabilities” means autism spectrum disorders, cerebral palsy, spina bifida, epilepsy, traumatic brain injury, or other lifelong disabilities that are acquired prior to the age of 21.

(f) Authorization of appropriations.—There are authorized to be appropriated to carry out this section $1,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2009 through 2012.