This report gives a first general insight on barriers people with disabilities are facing when they have to deal with the criminal justice system as accused of having committed a criminal act in the Federal District. Its purpose is to provide a reflection on how the justice system could cope with their special needs in a more appropriate way, to ensure that human rights and access to justice of people with disabilities occur on equal basis with others.
The probability that people with psychosocial disabilities are faced with the criminal justice system is higher than for the rest of the population. This can be explained to a large extent by the existing incomprehension concerning disability, which is even more of an issue when it comes to psychosocial disability as it seems to be one of the less well understood and one of the more stigmatized as well.
In addition to the preconceptions and the lack of capacity building, we may add the existence of a discriminatory penal legislation which keeps on looking at people with disabilities as if they weren’t subject with rights and obligations, but insists on an anachronistic vision that looks at them as objects requiring treatment and cure.