Criminal Justice Advocacy Program
What is Criminal Justice Advocacy?
There are at least 25,000 people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in the nation's prisons, and some studies indicate that the actual number may be twice that. This means that approximately 1 out of every 20 prisoners in the United States has a developmental disability. Offenders with a developmental disability face certain disadvantages at various stages while involved with the criminal justice system. The Criminal Justice Advocacy Program (CJAP) provides alternatives to incarceration on behalf of individuals with developmental disabilities who are defendants in the criminal justice system, and is the only program of its kind in New Jersey.
The CJAP serves as a clearinghouse for information about offenders, victims and witnesses with developmental disabilities and serves as a liaison between the criminal justice and human service systems, monitoring the quality of care and service provided to those with developmental disabilities as they move from one system to another.
Please be advised that The Criminal Justice Advocacy Program does not provide legal advice or services. Legal service references can be found here.
For more on what we do and how we can help, please click here.
View our program brochures below:
- Understanding the DDD Determination for Eligibility Process
- DDD Intake Application - English / Spanish
- Working with & Identifying an Individual with an I/DD
- Attorneys Guide was designed to assist attorneys in understanding the possible presence of an I/DD in someone involved in the criminal justice system.
Our Intake and Release of Information Form is required to advocate for an individual with intellectual and developmental disabilities that has been incarcerated and/or currently has pending charges. Please return the completed forms to firstname.lastname@example.org or via fax # 732.733.6804. Download our Intake and Release of Information Form.
What does developmental disabilities Include?
- Autism Spectrum Disorder
- Cerebral Palsy
- Intellectual Disability
- Other neurological impairments (e.g. traumatic brain injury, Spina Bifida, Prader-Willi syndrome, Alcohol Related Neurodevelopmental Disorders or FASD)
Resources & Material
NJ Courts Link, Applying for Guardianship, Application for Certificate of Citizenship, NJ Courts Self Help Resource Center, Public Defender Application for Municipal Court, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services- Request for Fee Waiver, A Guide For attorneys to assist with individuals with I/DD who become involved in the criminal justice system, New Jersey County Jails Resources, and Crisis Resource Contacts
DDD / DMHS / CCW- How they may be helpful. CCW Application Fact Sheet and CCW Renewal Fact Sheet, Directory of Mental Health Services link, Directions to the New Jersey Division of Mental Health Services, DDD Intake Application - in both English and Spanish
How to Apply for Guardianship of the Person of an Individual Eligible for Services from the Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD), Personal Health Record and Medical History Forms in English & Spanish, The Arc of New Jersey Family Institute link, NJ Courts - Self Help Resource Center, Understanding the DDD Eligibility Process, Family guide for navigating the NJ Service System for an individual with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Catholic Charities Transitional Housing Program Application, Transportation Option in NJ, Choosing a Support Coordinator, Support Coordination Agencies List, Support Coordination Agency Selection Form
New Jersey Sexual Assault Education and Prevention Resources, New Jersey Sex Offender Internet Registry List, Type of problems law enforcement may have while work with an sexual offender with an I/DD. Why some individuals with an I/DD have inappropriate sexual behavior. Megan's Law information and resources. Resources & Information on The Arc of US: National Center on Criminal Justice and Disability and ATSA (Association for treatment on sexual abusers).
Our current Equal Justice Talks webinar series runs from September 2017 to June 2018. All recordings and slides previously recorded are available for viewing, as well as archived webinars recordings and slides from the 2016/17 series. This project is cosponsored by the New Jersey State Bar Foundation and made possible through funding from the IOLTA Fund of the Bar of New Jersey.
Current Webinar Information and Sign-Up
Equal Justice Talks Webinar Series #9 - Thursday, May 24th at 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM EST
"Empowering People with Disabilities to Recognize and Report Abuse"
This hour long webinar with Mark Starford and Kecia Weller will explore –
• How to recognize and support people with disabilities who have experienced abuse
• How to empower self-advocates to identify and report abuse
Mark Starford, Director of Board Resource Center, facilitates leadership of people with disabilities and development of person-centered services. Kecia Weller is a state and national peer advocate for people with disabilities. Her focus is to ensure people who experienced abuse and assault get the support needed to live self-determined lives. Kecia along with Mark produced a PSA titled "Abuse of Persons with Disabilities: The Silent Epidemic" and with The National Arc’s NCCJD developed the “Talk about Sexual Violence” project.
Looking for archived webinars? Click here!
2017/2018 Calendar Schedule
- September 27, 2017 An overview of the criminal justice system and how it affects clients with developmental disabilities when criminal charges are filed - Recorded Webinar | Slides
- October 25, 2017 Effective techniques when working with a person with a developmental disability that affects their communication skills, providing practical tips and information - Recorded Webinar | Slides
- November 29, 2017 - Doing the Right Thing: Making Ethical Decisions and Preventing the Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disabilities - Recorded Webinar | Slides (Suggested reading on this topic: 'Scanning the Horizon' by Steve Baker and Amy Tabor)
- December 20, 2017 - How Parents and Caregivers can Keep an Individual with I/DD Safe While Accessing the Internet. Recorded Webinar | Slides
- January 25, 2018 - Counterfeit Deviance: What Is It and What Does the Research Tell Us? Recorded Webinar | Slides
- February 22, 2018 - Investigating and Prosecuting Financial Crimes Against People with I/DD. Recorded Webinar | Slides
- March 29, 2018 - Overcoming Criminal Histories and Successfully Supporting Employment for People with I/DD Recorded Webinar | Slides
- April 26, 2018 - Trauma Informed Care: Understanding Sources of and Treatment for People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. Recorded Webinar | Slides
- May 24, 2018 - Empowering People with Disabilities to Recognize and Report Abuse - Register Here
- June 28, 2018 - Description to be announced
This project is cosponsored by the New Jersey State Bar Foundation and made possible through funding from the IOLTA Fund of the Bar of New Jersey. For additional information about the Foundation's other law-related activities, please call 1-800-FREE-LAW or visit the Foundation on the Web at www.njsbf.org.