hands in handcuffs
Disability Rights Washington (DRW) recently toured eight county jails across Washington, to better understand how people with disabilities end up in jail, and the conditions under which they are held.  DRW gathered stories and information of individuals with mental health issues or other...
According to the U.S. Constitution, every citizen must be afforded due process of law.
jail cell with prisoner's hands.
A recently-awarded social justice fellow at DRW will examine discrimination, neglect, and abuse in Washington’s correctional facilities.
A judge has ruled the case is not 'ripe' and dismissed it, but DRW maintains there is no humane way to send those found not guilty to prison. Read more about this case.
Research shows prisons can worsen conditions of those with developmental disabilities, brain injuries and/or mental illness. See the 2003 Human Rights Watch Report, Ill-Equipped: U.S. Prisons and Offenders with Mental Illness.  
close up of two people holding hands.
The Department of Social and Health Services has chartered a work-group and hired an independent consultant to tackle abuse and neglect response issues for seniors and adults with disabilities. DRW and other advocacy agencies, who comprise the group, will make state legislative and policy...
Public policy
Legislators and the Governor felt the need to respond to recent tragic events, such as the shooting of four police officers in Lakewood and the Skagit County killings. Last fall, an Eastern State Hospital patient escaped for a short time from an outing, provoking a media frenzy. The result: issues...
Public policy
several hands raised in the air
The ACLU led efforts by a broad coalition of groups to pass HB 1517 of 2009, which automatically reinstates the right to vote for felons once they have completed their sentence. Previously, felons could get their right to vote back only after they had paid all of their fines and successfully...
DRW updates
Facade of courthouse building with pillars and an American flag.
The Washington State Legislature established an 'access coordinator' for Washington's Courts. This person will be appointed by the legislature to assess courts, and determine whether training or other assistance is needed to make sure court services are accessible to people with disabilities.