Outlining the key developments of the Disability Hate Crime policy agenda, Seamus Taylor brings together a unique consideration of the theoretical and practical questions at its heart. This book analyses the contributions of activists, politicians, policy makers and criminal justice system practitioners to policy development, and critiques both the under-recognition of disability prejudice fuelled by ableism and the challenge of vulnerability in addressing disability hostility.
Concluding that a critically reflective approach on the part of policy makers and practitioners can lead to progress, the author gives clear policy recommendations to address current challenges in the Criminal Justice System.
This chapter sets out and analyses a range of Disability Hate Crime cases. It makes the phenomenon real through an analysis of the empirical data in actual cases. This chapter interrogates how the recognition of Disability Hate Crime and application of penalty uplift affects the outcomes of criminal justice proceedings. Fifteen cases of Disability Hate Crime are reviewed to interrogate the impact of the Disability Hate Crime framework, the recognition (or non-recognition) of disability hostility and the way in which this affected case outcomes. The chapter examines what types of cases attract uplift, the impact of penalty uplift at court on sentences and the implications of the different understandings of the Disability Hate Crime approach drawn upon in policing, prosecution and judicial sentencing.
This chapter analyses the policy journey of Disability Hate Crime from agenda triggering to substantive agenda setting. The arrival of Section 146 on the statute books by the end of 2003 has been regarded as the birth of the Disability Hate Crime policy agenda. Section 146 was not enacted until 2005, however, and in the meantime, Disability Hate Crime came to be a way of conceiving of targeted victimization of disabled people that was in advance of the prevalent view of hate crime in 2003. Sharply awake to equality agendas after the Lawrence Inquiry, the criminal justice system was receptive to the new policy agenda. The arrival of the Disability Equality Duty applying to the public sector from 2004 shaped the ‘discovery’ of Disability Hate Crime by the criminal justice system. The Pilkington case opened a policy window of opportunity. In contrast to the agenda triggering phase where politicians determined the direction of travel, in Phase 2, policy officials take the lead and the policy agenda became set.
This chapter traces the journey from hate crime to Disability Hate Crime through an analysis of the relevant literature including policy related documents which construct and reference Disability Hate Crime. It considers the origins and evolving conceptions of both hate crime and Disability Hate Crime, the construction of disability in public policy and the construction of disability within hate crime policy. It is only recently that disability hostility has begun to be recognized as Disability Hate Crime, and it is a contested, contentious and ambiguous concept. Nonetheless, it is now recognized as a ‘social fact’ with an active policy domain and set of policies and practices. A review of the key academic literature on Disability Hate Crime and its relationship to hate crime literature in general is set out, as well as a review of the significant literature produced by the independent statutory sector, the community sector and by individual authors. Here is set out the critical consideration of the journey from hate crime to Disability Hate Crime that follows and that is concerned with how Disability Hate Crime policy and practice emerged and developed, and equally on seeking to explain why it emerged as and when it did in hate crime.
This chapter analyses the policy journey that embeds and institutionalizes Disability Hate Crime within the hate crime domain in terms of law, policy and daily practice. The development of this agenda is explored in the three streams of ‘activism’, ‘politics’ and ‘policy’ (Kingdon, 2011). The evidence in this chapter points to policy development, policy institutionalization and evaluation of Disability Hate Crime taking place simultaneously at times. These do not take place in discrete, sequential stages. The evidence presented here illuminates the ways in which policy becomes, or fails to become, embedded within criminal justice system business. It points to the importance of criminal justice actors, namely police, prosecutors and judiciary sharing a common understanding of and focus on Disability Hate Crime.
In the late 1990s and early 2000s, there was very little debate about the need to address Disability Hate Crime in England and Wales. Significant problematization and activism occurred to socially construct disability hostility as a problem worthy of political–policy attention. The introduction of new legislation addressing disability hostility is explored, noting the range of contributions to the securing of Section 146 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 and particularly the critical political interventions by ministers and other politicians behind it. A strategic coupling occurred between activism and the political arenas enabled by policy entrepreneurs, who identified a policy window of opportunity in the form of the development of the 2003 Act and successfully created a hate crime policy domain for Disability Hate Crime. In doing so, they homogenized Disability Hate Crime as simply another strand in the hate crime domain. Without significant problematization efforts by activists and critical interventions by some political actors, expansion of the hate crime policy domain to include disability hostility would not have occurred.
This chapter assesses the context of disabled people’s experience of disadvantage and discrimination, and the persistence of prejudice against this population today in a wide range of social and institutional contexts. The dual problematization of welfare versus rights by state institutions gives a framing to Disability Hate Crime which sets a high standard for considering ableist crime. This chapter explores the extent to which this prejudice is reflective of the ableism impacting the Disability Hate Crime agenda itself. It is argued that in failing to recognize disability prejudice and ableism and their impacts on Disability Hate Crime, there is a failure to recognize and name the issue appropriately and, as a consequence, to deal with Disability Hate Crime justly.
The issue of vulnerability has posed significant challenges to agenda institutionalization of Disability Hate Crime. It has functioned to substitute protection and safeguarding for rights, justice and equality. At other times, it has been suggested to better capture the range of disabled people’s experiences of victimization. It is argued that vulnerability is embedded as the master stereotype of disabled people in criminal justice policy and practice and that this undue focus on vulnerability is impeding delivery of justice in Disability Hate Crime cases. This chapter analyses the three streams of activity in relation to vulnerability – the political, the policy and the activist streams. The shifting understanding of vulnerability in relation to Disability Hate Crime is evolving largely in response to activists’ concerns and reviews external to the criminal justice system. Recent policy statements from the criminal justice system presents what is still an unsettled position in relation to vulnerability.
This chapter notes that Disability Hate Crime remains to this day an unsettled and unsettling policy and practice agenda. However, the chapter also notes the potential to make progress through adopting a more inclusive legal policy response to Disability Hate Crime. Through such an inclusive legal policy response, the book concludes on a cautiously optimistic note. This chapter also argues that Disability Hate Crime exists within a wider context of disabled people’s experience of disadvantage and discrimination across most areas of social life. A Disability Hate Crime focus should be located within an understanding of disability prejudice and ableism and within a focus on rights and justice. In such a policy context, and underpinned by appropriate legal provisions, Disability Hate Crime can contribute to realizing a society where disabled people can live more dignified lives, freer from fear and with the potential for enhanced human flourishing based simultaneously on recognition of human difference and common humanity. Pursued in isolation, it risks becoming an over-individuated response to wider structural injustices.
Twenty years ago, Disability Hate Crime was unheard of in England and Wales. Disability Hate Crime is today a significant criminal justice concern. This book addresses how Disability Hate Crime moved from invisibility to policy action. This chapter sets out the book’s themes, which focus on the contributions of activism, politics and policy making to the Disability Hate Crime policy agenda; the challenges of a pervasive focus on vulnerability in Disability Hate Crime; and ableism as a prejudicial ideology fuelling Disability Hate Crime. This chapter introduces the book’s organizing and analytical policy concepts of the problem stream, the policy stream, the politics stream, problem representation and problematization as they apply to Disability Hate Crime.