Skip to content

Ending the Mass Incarceration of Persons of Color with Disabilities: Toward Intersectional Solutions to Transform Policing

April 11, 2024

12:15 pm - 1:30 pm

This event has passed


Persons with disabilities (PWDs) across the lifespan face higher risk for arrest and incarceration due to extensively documented discriminatory law enforcement practices. According to research in the American Journal of Public Health, PWDs are 44% more likely to be arrested by age 28 than those without disabilities—a problem based in part on unfounded, ableist notionsabout PWDs’ propensity toward aggression and violence. Likewise, PWDs are also more likely to experience violence at the hands of police. According to data from the Washington Post, police have killed nearly 2,000 individuals grappling with behavioral health crises since 2015, accounting for one-fifth of all police-related killings during this period. Significantly, these harmsare inflicted disproportionately against PWD of color—underscording the need for intersectional solutions. Moreover, for many PWDs impactful interactions with law enforcement begin at school, due to policies and practices that push students of color with disabilities into a school-to-prison pipeline.

This web event on April 11th from 12:15 to 1:30pm US Eastern time, co-organized by HPOD, the Institute to End Mass Incarceration, and the Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics at Harvard Law School, delves into the causes, implications, and consequences of these phenomena. It invites leaders in disability justice, racial justice, and criminal justice advocacy and scholarship to propose forward-looking ideas to shift policing away from a focus on punishment and coercion and toward one that values and affirms care, self-determination, and solidarity. This event will also set the stage for a digital symposium in the Bill of Health, the Petrie-Flom Center’s blog, where a broader range of scholars and advocates from the disability justice, racial justice, and criminal justice communities will be invited to explore additional avenues for intersectional solutions.

Live CART captioning will be provided.


Welcoming Remarks

Professor Michael Ashley Stein, Executive Director, HPOD


Benjamin A. Barsky, Annual Fellow, HPOD



Institute to End Mass Incarceration

Harvard Law Petrie-Flom Center

Add to Calendar

April 11, 2024, 12:15 pm - 1:30 pm

+Google Calendar