Group for those with intellectual disabilities want policy changes - InfoNews

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Group for those with intellectual disabilities want policy changes

Nichelle Benn waits for the start of provincial court in Dartmouth, N.S. on Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2014. A Nova Scotia group is urging federal and provincial leaders to implement policy changes in the justice system for people with intellectual disabilities. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
February 02, 2014 - 11:03 AM

HALIFAX - A Nova Scotia group is urging federal and provincial leaders to implement policy changes in the justice system for people with intellectual disabilities.

About 40 people held signs and tied red ribbons around their arms as they marched to Halifax provincial court today.

It was one of eight protests happening across the province as part of the group's push to stop the criminalization of people with special needs.

Twenty-six-year-old Nichele Benn, a woman with an intellectual disability, was recently charged with assault and assault with a weapon after she was accused of biting and striking a staff member at a care facility in Halifax.

Yvette Cherry, a rally organizer, says cases like Benn's shouldn't be before the courts because the behaviour challenges of those with intellectual disabilities shouldn't be considered criminal.

Cherry says they're calling on federal Justice Minister Peter MacKay and Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil to look amending the criminal code to ensure there are protections in place for people with intellectual disabilities.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2014
The Canadian Press

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