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

  • 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 2018 to June 2019. All recordings and slides previously recorded are available for viewing, as well as archived webinars recordings and slides from the 2017/18 and 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.



Looking for archived webinars? Click here!

Sign up for future webinar announcements!


2018/2019 Equal Justice Talks Webinar Series

  • September 20, 2018 Creating Pathways to Justice for People with I/DD in 2018 and Beyond - Registration Link
  • October 18, 2018 
  • November 15, 2018 
  • December 20, 2018 
  • January 17, 2019 
  • February 21, 2019 
  • March 21, 2019 
  • April 18, 2019 
  • May 16, 2019 
  • June 20, 2019 

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