Suspects/Offenders' Issues Series:
Alternatives to Incarceration for Criminal Offenders with Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities
Jessica S. Oppenheim, Esq.
Director of the Criminal Justice Advocacy Program of The Arc of New Jersey
Criminal Offenders with developmental and intellectual disabilities (I/DD) present unique challenges to the criminal justice system seeking to investigate and prosecute crime as well as to the social service system seeking to serve and assist this vulnerable population. Such individuals make up at least 9 – 10% of the prison population and some studies tell us that they may comprise as much as 50% of adult and juvenile offender populations. It is unquestioned that individuals with I/DD face distinct disadvantages in the system, resulting in convictions for more serious offenses and more prison time.
The Criminal Justice Advocacy Program (CJAP) of The Arc of NJ seeks to overcome these disadvantages, while still ensuring that offenders take responsibility for criminal behavior, by arranging specific interventions that provide alternatives to incarceration through offender-specific Personalized Justice Plans. The CJAP also acts as a clearinghouse of information between the criminal justice and social service system in provide training and communication between the two systems. This webinar will review the obstacles and disadvantages faced by this population and provide an overview of the CJAP. Register here.
The Arc's National Center on Criminal
Justice & Disability (NCCJD)
MISSION: NCCJD will become the national focal point for the collection and dissemination of resources and serve as a bridge between justice and I/DD professionals. NCCJD will pursue and promote safety, fairness and justice for all people with intellectual and developmental disabilities as suspects, offenders, victims or witnesses. For more information: http://www.thearc.org/NCCJD
Kathryn J. Walker, J.D., M.P.H.
Criminal Justice Fellow
1825 K Street NW, Suite 1200, Washington, D.C. 20036
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