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:

Additional Material:

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 or via fax # 732.733.6804.  Download our Intake and Release of Information Form.


What does developmental disabilities Include?


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

  • The Arc Summit addressing sexual offenses against people with I/DD. NPR (National Public Radio) links focusing on sexual abuse of people with I/DD. New Jersey Sexual Assault Education and Prevention Resources, New Jersey Sex Offender Internet Registry List. Types 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. The Arc of US: NCCJD and ATSA (Association for treatment on sexual abusers) links.

  • 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.


Equal Justice Talks Webinar Series

Thank you to all of our Equal Justice Talks webinar attendees! 

We will begin our next webinar series in September and we look forward to your attendance.  

Looking for archived webinars? Click here!

Sign up for future webinar announcements!


2017/2018 Archived Webinars

  • 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 - Recorded Webinar | Slides
  • June 28, 2018 - Legal-Medical Partnerships- Recorded Webinar | Slides

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