At The Arc of Northern Virginia, we have had an increasing number of inquiries from families who are worried about the possibility of their loved one with a developmental disability being entangled in the justice system, or have called to figure out how to proceed once someone is arrested. This is on par with national data showing people with DD are more likely to be arrested and jailed, though they are not more likely than the general population to commit crimes.
To help families plan and prevent interactions with the justice system as best as possible, we have produced a Guide for Families focused on prevention of legal issues and navigation of the legal system. We have produced a parallel guide for attorneys who are hired to defend people with DD. Both are free and we encourage people to read and share them. Don’t forget our YouTube channel, which features a number of archived webinars including sessions on Diversion First
and a Justice Panel.